What better place to impress visitors than the
front of your home? It is one thing to walk
past plants and admire them but when you are
waiting for the door to open you have time to
study the plants, admire them and possibly drink
in their fragrance.
At this dreary time of the year a bit of colour
is welcoming for the postman and milkman and
in the run-up to Christmas there are bound to
be more visitors than normal.
Choose interesting, attractive containers rather
than plain earthenware or brown plastic. Make
sure that there are adequate drainage holes
in the base.
Plants in a soil-based compost such as John
Innes No 2 will be easier to water and less
likely to blow over in a storm than when planted
in soil-less compost.
immediate interest select shrubs with flower
or berries adding a few with coloured or variegated
leaves. For later in the winter include some
dwarf bulbs such as crocus, scilla and grape
Evergreen skimmias will hold their bright red
berries for long periods. The male form, Skimmia
japonica ‘Rubella’ produces large
panicles of pink buds in winter that open white
Gaultheria mucronata has small, dark green leaves
with masses of winter berries. Select from white,
pink, magenta, red and purple but for a good
display next year there will need to be a male,
Small, flowering plants of the evergreen clematis,
trained on canes, will be available from garden
centres and D.I.Y.stores. Look out for other
hardy wall plants such as Jasminum nudiflorum
with its colourful bright yellow flowers on
dark green leafless stems.
Variegated ivy and Eounymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’
and E. ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’
will provide leaf colour.
forced hyacinths and scented jonquils will soon
be for sale in flower. A few of these will fill
the porch and surrounding area with fragrance.
A single pot grown plant of the evergreen shrub,
Sarcocca confusa will, when in flower, exude
its sweet perfume all around the front door.
A plant on either side will have your visitors
lingering in the cold air rather than move inside,
away from the experience.
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