Garrya elliptica ‘James’s Roof’ an evergreen shrub with beautiful catkins, that can reach 20cm in length. It is a vigorous shrub which is best grown up a wall for shelter in my part of the world. It will spread eventually to 2.5m x 4m and will tolerate a wide range of soils and acidity levels so long as it is free draining.
Helleborus orientalis. The christmas rose, evergreen leaved perennial which flowers from December to March. Remove the foliage just before christmas to see the flowers better. The flowers can range from dark red almost black through pink to white and have a varying speckling inside. They can also be double or single flowers. They prefer soil that doesn’t dry out too much in the summer and will tolerate light shade. Give them a good mulch after they finish flowering.
Jasmine nudiflorum the winter flowering jasmine. Sadly it has no scent like its summer cousin but it is a bright, welcome addition to a winter garden on a dull day. An easy to grow non clinging climber.
Cornus stolonifera, yellow stemmed dogwood. Coloured stems are another point of interest in the garden at this time of year. When the buds start to break in Feb or early march, depending on the weather cut the stems back almost to the ground and it will keep the stems from getting old and brown. Will tolerate well drained soil and boggy soils in full sun.
Skimmia japonica, it keeps its pinky red buds all winter
This one was the hardest and most unfair.
And last but not least, lonicera fragrantissima