Plant­ing part­ners

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Plant Profile Winter Stems -

• Com­bin­ing two dog­woods of dif­fer­ent hues can be par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive, for ex­am­ple Cor­nus sericea ‘Bud’s Yel­low’ adds golden high­lights with the warm tones of Cor­nus san­guinea ‘Mid­win­ter Fire’.

• Along­side wa­ter Cor­nus alba ‘Sibir­ica’ makes the win­ter wands of Salix alba var. vitel­lina ‘Britzen­sis’ glow even brighter. The cor­nus stems will be tall and strong if grown in wet con­di­tions.

• Un­der­plant­ing win­ter stems with ev­er­green ground cover sub­jects is par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive, dis­play­ing the stems against a leafy car­pet, rather than against bare soil. Low-grow­ing sedges, such as Carex os­hi­men­sis ‘Ever­gold’, are ideal un­der the

red stems of Cor­nus alba Ba­ton Rouge (= ‘Min­bat’). • Large-leaved ivies, such as Hed­era colchica ‘Sul­phur Heart’, make at­trac­tive ground cover and work well un­der the lower grow­ing dog­woods, such as Cor­nus san­guinea ‘Anny’s Win­ter Orange’. Plain green Pachysan­dra ter­mi­nalis con­trasts well with yel­low stems, as long as the ground is not too wet. Vinca mi­nor is also suc­cess­ful, but the small leaves are less re­flec­tive and colour­ful and pro­vide a more neu­tral back­drop. • Ber­ge­nias with leaves that take on rich ruby hues, such as Ber­ge­nia ‘Over­ture’, are stun­ning with red or chalky stems. For an even more strik­ing con­trast try un­der­plant­ing Rubus cock­bur­ni­anus ‘Gold­en­vale’ with the grass-like, black peren­nial Ophio­pogon planis­ca­pus ‘Ni­grescens’.

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