The leaves are still just hanging on to the trees, I am sure it will only be a couple of weeks of cold, windy weather and they will all be gone. With them goes the wonderful rich autumn colours leaving gardens with far less colour than any other time of year. There are however many other ways of introducing interest and some colour into your garden during the long winter months. Berries, coloured stems, architectural plants, evergreen plants, early flowering plants.

Once all the leaves have fallen off the trees berries are exposed, Sorbus (mountain ash) is a great variety for producing copious amounts of berries. They are a small tree, suitable for most gardens, they grow well in this region, the berries come in all different colours red, orange, yellow and pearl.

One of the brightest coloured stems is the Cornus (Dogwood) alba ‘Siberica’ bright scarlet. Keep the plant young by pruning back 50% of the stems each year and it will keep producing bright red stems. A good architectural plant, is the twisted hazel Coryllus avellana ‘Contortata’, this plant wakes up early in the spring producing lovely long yellow catkins. The bark of the Prunus serrula (small, medium cherry tree) is always amazing to look at any time of the year! Evergreen plants Sarcoccocca confusa or humilis flower late winter, very early in the spring, they produce the most fantastic strong fragrance. Well worth having some in your garden, they are good for a low evergreen hedge too.

All the berries on these plants make great food for the birds. Unfortunately I don’t have enough plants with berries in my garden for all the birds to feed so I hang out loads of feeders, 7 actually!! I use all the broken bags of feed from the Garden Centre! As a keen bird feeder I know all the in’s and out’s of various types of feeder. To date we have only stocked the pretty basic bird feeder ranges. As of this week we have now got the Jacobi Jayne feeders in stock, so exciting! With the ring pull range you can take it completely apart (to get out all your wet mould food) without a screwdriver!! All their products are for the more experienced bird feeders who want an easier life!

Our Christmas stock is pouring in. We took delivery of our growing Christmas trees in pots yesterday. Decorations and lights are going out as we speak.

We have Pumpkins for sale in the Farm Shop – £2.49 each. There are still a few left.

We have still got some spring flowering bulbs available for planting now.

Have a great weekend

Ashley

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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