Best of the bunch
●● Skimmia These hardy shrubs make a statement in the winter garden with clusters of vibrant red berries and evergreen leaves to provide year-round interest.
Red-tinted flower buds of Skimmia japonica on a frosty morning look stunning in the border or in pots, which develop into white or pink-tinted spring flowers.
Red fruits are borne on female plants so you’ll need to plant a male and a female together, or a hermaphrodite such as reevesiana if you want berries.
Other good varieties include ‘Veitchii’, which is female, and the male type ‘Fragrans’. S, japonica prefer full shade as their leaves turn yellow in sunshine.