GARDENING: How to add.. Winter style.
YOUR garden doesn't have to fade into oblivion as the season tails off - there are still plenty of flowers, berries and colourful foliage to intrigue and surprise, whatever the weather.
A BORDER featuring a white-stemmed birch set against a backdrop of fiery-stemmed dogwoods is a real treat to view even on dismal days. When the spring bulbs burst through the bare soil this colourful and ever-changing scene is bound to dispel any thoughts of winter gloom. EXPERT TIP: Coloured twigs look best when the sun shines on them from directly over your shoulder.
HOW MUCH? Special offer, pack of two plus one free costs pounds 8.90 from J Parker (0161 848 1110, www.jparkers.co.uk).
THE winter-flowering honeysuckle, lonicera purpusii winter beauty, is a perfumed favourite which can be grown in a border or a pot. The creamy-white flowers should appear in time for Christmas and last through to March.
EXPERT TIP: After the flowers fade the straggly shrub is of little interest. Re-plant it in a sheltered spot so that its scent lingers for longer.
HOW MUCH? Expect to pay around pounds 8.99 from garden centres.
USE lighting to create atmosphere and to enhance the planting, garden features and architecture so you can prolong the enjoyment of the garden from different rooms in the house, as well as outside seating areas when the sun goes down.
EXPERT TIP: Use low-voltage spotlights to light walls and throw plants into silhouette.
HOW MUCH? Low-voltage spotlights cost from pounds 14.98 from B&Q.
KNOT gardens made by interlocking low box and lavender hedges in square or rectangular-shaped beds have been a popular feature in gardens for over 600 years. The spaces between are popularly planted with seasonal flowers or in-filled with gravel to suppress weeds.
EXPERTTIP: It's a good idea to site a knot garden close to the house where you can best appreciate its intricate pattern from upper windows.
HOWMUCH? Box and lavender cost from pounds 3.99 each. Buy plants with plenty of shoots to make cuttings for free.
SKIMMIA is one of the most useful plants for winter interest and especially in containers as its large bunches of brilliant red berries last right throughout the winter and usually until the flowers, which have a scent of lily-of-the-valley, appear again in spring.
Skimmia looks great in pots and will brighten up any windowsill.
EXPERT TIP: For female skimmias varieties to continue producing flowers and berries, a male plant such as skimmia japonica fragrans, must be planted nearby.
HOW MUCH? Expect to pay around pounds 5.95 for skimmia from garden centres.
Plant an intricate knot garden close to the house so you can appreciate its beauty and patterns from upstairs windows
The use of spotlights creates atmosphere and gives you the chance to enjoy your garden even after the sun goes down
The fiery colour of dogwood lasts well into spring when daffodils and other bulbs burst into glorious life
LIGHTING; WINTER BLOOMS; PLANTING PATTERN; WINDOWS Pictures: GAP/MARIANNE MARJERUS/GARDEN PICTURE LIBRARY
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 21, 2007|
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