Few plants celebrate the different seasons more than colourful cornus. Called dogwoods, these reliable and hardy shrubs provide a luscious leafy backdrop to summer flowers.
As a final fanfare, their foliage is a rainbow of colours through autumn. They then flutter away to reveal brilliant wand-like stems.
During winter the brightly-coloured stems of dogwoods catch sunlight to create dazzling displays.
Small gardens might only have space for a single plant. Position it where the low piercing winter sunlight will shine through, catching stems in its spotlight.
Choose carefully and your garden displays will become a celebration of colourful cornus.
For summer foliage and winter stems
Alba varieties – such as ‘Elegantissima’, ‘Aurea’, ‘Spaethii’, and Siberian dogwood ‘Sibirica’
Sericea varieties – such as Golden-twig dogwood ‘Flaviramea’ and dwarf Kelsey’s Gold
Sanguinea varieties – such as ‘Midwinter Fire’ and ‘Winter Beauty’
Small trees with attractive flowers and foliage
Controversa ‘Variegata’ (AGM)
Cornus kousa varieties like ‘Miss Satomi’ (AGM)
For winter flowers
Cornus mas – dainty yellow flowers in winter, red fruits in late summer
Houseplant of the month – Rhipsalis
An unusual houseplant, Rhipsalis is actually a cactus, but without the spikes. Also known as a mistletoe cactus, this houseplant is a fast grower. It hangs down in long messy tendrils or grows upwards in a bushy form and is maintenance-free.
Rhipsalis copes pretty well with forgetful waterers. It does not give up and is a beauty under ideal conditions.
Sales and display tips for Rhipsalis Display different varieties of Rhipsalis together. It will emphasise the jungle feeling of this green spectacle.
The hanging plants will appeal to the imagination more if they are hung off a tree trunk or a sturdy branch. The plant varieties will look nice amongst some decorative wood and attractive stones.
Select pots with a robust and natural appearance. Ceramic with a bark pattern, wood or a dish with natural shades.