Flowers bring cheer to winter

Winter cherry is flowering now.
Winter cherry is flowering now.

We are not short of garden flowers at present. It begins above eye level with the so-called autumn cherry, which actually starts to bloom then but continues throughout winter.

Ours has entertained for three decades and after last year’s severe pruning looks stronger than ever.

It is always high on my list of standard ornamental trees for gardens.

Best choice is prunus subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea. A decent specimen costs much less than one evening’s dining-out for two, which is good value.

Golden, highly-fragrant racemes of mahonia flowers must be the top scent in a January garden.

But size-for-size, the Christmas box (sarcococca), a dwarf evergreen, has tiny blooms that pack a fragrant punch for those who can get to ground level.

The yellow jasmine (nudiflorum) and winter heathers have really come into their own recently and they’re not alone. Primroses and polyanthus are out prematurely and bulbs are pushing through all over the garden.