A few colourful containers can instantly bring a greying winter garden to life. Here is our step-by-step process to making your own creative winter container.
Witch hazels are truly enchanting, sweet-scented flowers borne on bracts like brightly coloured streamers with dark centres. Called so because of the old belief that a tea made from the leaves would heighten powers to those predisposed. The stongest Scented ones are Hamamelis mollis or Hamamelis vernalis. Our personal favourite pictured below is H. feurerzauber with its amazing blood orange flowers with dark red almost crimson centres.
It's an attractive shrub with unusual stems that grow in a wavy shape. The leaves are ovate and provide great autumn colour. They're highly regarded as an ornamental garden plant and several species have gained the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS. Cut a branch to display indoors to really get the full reward of the scent!
February is the time to take hardwood cuttings; you can make an entire new hedge, for free and within 20 minutes. Its the easiest way to increase your stock of shrubs such as Dogwoods, Roses, Viburnum & Forsythia.
Plants like this Cornus sanguinea "Midwinter Fire" is a perfect specimen, so why not take some cuttings to make more for next year!
Now, heres how to go about it:
1) Look for healthy strong newer plant material approximately the thickness of a pencil. Cut it off above a node so that the mother plant will grow back cleanly.
2) Cut the material into 20-30 cm sections, cut the base square and the top slanted so you know which way to plant it in the ground. Cut just below the bud at the base and above the bud at the top.
3) Dig a trench in the soil at about a spade's depth you may want to put fine gravel to aid drainage.
4) Plant the cuttings three quarters deep into the soil, firm the earth around them and make sure they have had a water, they should be ready to pot on in spring or move to their new location.