There's something quite magical about looking out (or for that matter venturing out) into the garden on a cold and frosty morning. Leaves are dusted in white and stems stand out against the crisp sky. But even when the weather is grey and depressing, there are plants that can cheer you up. The red berries of a holly tree, for instance, can seem like a miracle, while the yellow blooms of a mahonia rarely fail to lift the spirits with their sweet fragrance.
Winter colour comes in many forms: from bright stems and bark to berries and foliage. The fantastic bamboo Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis has golden stems and the Japanese wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) is a fruiting wall shrub that will glow rust red in the winter sun.
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How to deal with problem plants
There’s a range of popular ornamentals that can cause problems, says Tim Rumball
Why every garden needs Cotoneaster
The ultimate berried treasure, these useful shrubs offer so much more. They’re good for winter interest, wildlife, walls, hedging… pretty much everything, says Louise Curley
For early colour, plant Hellebores
Varied and versatile, these fail-safe flowerers combine a tough constitution with blooms in different colours and shapes, plus interesting foliage, says Tamsin Hope Thomson
A close encounter with a stag leaves Toby pondering the effects of lockdown on these magnificent creatures
Top of the crop
Struggling to decide which crops to choose? Bob looks at your best options, depending on site and time required
Make 2021 the year you Grow soft fruit
Delicious and nutritious, berries are brilliant entry level options for anyone new to fruit growing as they give a good crop in a small space, says Kris Collins
Hard-pruning your roses
A tough cut will send them shooting away, says Ruth
Focusing on perennials
There’s lots you can get on with now, says Ruth
Filling gaps in shared gardens
Anne Swithinbank's masterclass on: Low - Maintenance border gaps
Bring on the butterflies
After a poor butterfly count, Val looks forward to the next…
Bonding Through Birds
Kindness spreads through this Kentucky nursing facility, but it starts with feathered friends at a window.
Junco family tree
Meet the many variations of this beloved snowbird and popular wintertime visitor.
What is your favorite owl and why?
Readers share special memories and the species they think is most interesting.
At the Edge of Lake Erie
Try these three activities at Point Pelee National Park.
How Birds Get Named
Meet the committee in charge of naming and organizing birds.
Prime Time For Planting
Find Out Why Fall Is Perfect For Late-Season Gardening.
A Mind Shaped By Gardening
Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist and gardener. Her new book The Well-Gardened Mind explores the power of gardening to change people’s lives.
Two doves: One native, one an intruder
We have two types of doves in north-central Washington: Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared-Dove.
Find Your Voice
Do you love to sing? Botanicals can improve your voice and soothe a sore throat
Why Birds Do What They Do
The more humans understand about their behavior, the more inaccessible their world seems.