December's Plant of the month

Grown for many a long year here at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Cornus alba 'Sibirica' is the brightest stem for winter effect that we have in the garden

Cornus alba 'Sibirica' and Galanthus 'Atkinsii'You can find this colourful dogwood in the beds next to the Winter Garden Lawn and in the area around the lake, where its brilliant crimson stems are under-planted with pure white Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’ AGM, making an eye-catching combination.

The yellow variegated Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold' AGM is another plant association that turns heads and can be found in the Winter Garden. Also in the Winter Garden, we have underplanted with Helleborus argutifolius AGM, which has pale green flowers and makes an interesting contrast.
 
One of our favourite planting combinations is to have the bright red stems of C. alba 'Sibirica' AGM growing in association with other coloured stems such as green-yellow Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ and Salix alba var. vitellina. We have recently cleared a large area of overgrown shrubs and will soon be planting a range of plants with colourful stems to link with those already in the Lake Field.
 
The bright red stems of Cornus alba 'Sibirica' look good whatever the weatherPlants are pruned to just a few centimetres above the ground in late winter before the leaves emerge. This ensures another brilliant display the following season as it is the new shoots that have the strongest coloration. Position the plant where it will get plenty of sunshine to ensure the brightest stem colour.
 
Cornus grown for their colourful stems can be relied upon to do well in our heavy clay soil and they form the basis for our winter displays. They brighten up a dull winter's day, shine in sunlight and sparkle in the frost.
 
So, if you feel inspired, take a look at the range of Cornus available (including C. alba 'Sibirica' AGM) in the Rosemoor Plant Centre and brighten up your garden in winter.

Advertise here

Discuss this

for the site or to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.