Winter Coloured Stems
– Winter stems provide the garden with much needed colour and at Hadlow College near Tonbridge, Kent, the Broadview garden beds of Cornus and Salix plants give a dramatic spectacle that can lift the spirit and bring a smile to all. From a distance the colours of these shrubs appear like flames giving both warmth and light to their surroundings and are best planted in drifts to create this effect.
Both Cornus and Salix are cut back hard in early spring so that the following year’s stems will have great colour again in the winter. Once cut, the stems quickly start to form again and are covered in green, yellow or variegated leaves that last until the first frosts or heavy winds in autumn/winter. A good cultivar is Cornus alba ‘Aurea’ that produces lime yellow/green coloured leaves followed by brilliant red stems. Allow a spread of 1 – 1.5 metre per plant.