At this time of year it’s very easy to keep looking at the newly emerging bulbs everywhere and feel excitement when spotting the first winter aconite, but there are many other plants that are make the garden interesting this winter.
In the front garden my climbing rose ‘Iceberg’ is still in flower and despite looking a little tired looks pretty next to the winter jasmine with its pretty bright yellow star shaped flowers. Both have brightened up that wall at my front door for several months and contrast beautifully with the colour mix of the ‘Sugar Rush’ wallflowers that I planted in early autumn, these I shall dead head soon ready for spring.
In the back garden the evergreen Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ grows through a variegated ivy and its little pale flower buds are gradually opening up to show off their speckled maroon centres, these will be followed by silky seed heads further extending the winter interest.
Ivy play a big role in my garden because I use them to cover the fences, give protection and nesting places for birds as well as winter food.
Hedera ‘Glorie De Marengo’ has strongly variegated foliage of green and cream, it hasn’t reverted or been as vigorous as ‘Sulphur Heart’ nor has it grown further than a fence panel width unlike ‘Sulphur Heart’ that covers the width of several panels and will continue if I let it.
The Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’ has mostly reverted to a plain dark green with patches of yellow splashes here and there. I’m sure if I had pruned it regular when it was young it wouldn’t have, but I like the mix of foliage making it contrast well with other shrubs and climbers.
Fatshedera x lizei’ is a wonderful statement shrub that is a hybrid of the Fatsia japonica and Hedera helix giving it the architectural foliage qualities of the Fatsia and the vine habit of the Ivy, making it perfect for a tropical or architectural themed garden. It doesn’t cling by itself so has to be fastened and trained to the fence. They’re planted on opposite sides of my garden. One has a beautiful clump forming golden bamboo stood next to it and the other large glossy green leaves contrast well with a small leaved variegated ivy.