Structure in the garden is particularly important during winter as it provides the backdrop which will hold your garden’s shape even when spring and summer flowers have long since faded and died. In those cold and dreary winter months of December January and February a great feature in the garden are shrubs such as dogwoods which provide an elegant pop of colour with their bare structural stems in a range of vivid colours.

Cornus alternifolia

The Cornus genus provide not only colour but also flowers and berries. Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’ Or pagoda dogwood is a silver variegated shrub. Reaching a height of 10 meters, this slow growing cornus can provide a stark silvery structure to silhouette other shrubs against.

Scarlet willow (Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Britzensis’)

Is a stunningly stark red stemmed shrub which boasts blood red stems in the depths of winter. Don’t be afraid to prune it back hard as it can reach heights of 12 meters over 20 years. Requiring a moist but well drained loamy soil, it has green foliage in spring summer with yellow flowers and coral or red stems in winter to warm the cockles of your garden.

Gaultheria Mucronata

With luscious dark evergreen waxy leaves Gaultheria Mucronata or ‘Bell’s Seedling’ also known as Pernettya, is an evergreen shrub which features berries in a range of colours from deep purple to red. These dramatic berries will last through winter providing a splash of much welcome colour complimented by its deep foliage. As a self-fertile plant it doesn’t require  male and female for pollination and can reach heights of 3ft. so give it sufficient room to shine and it will reward you with a great winter show.

Rubus Thibetanus

If you’re looking for a silvery stark stem to set some pink flowers against, look no further than ghost bramble Rubus Thibetanus which will give you ghostly straight stems to structure other shrubs around. An added bonus is the obvious blackberries you can reap in the autumn.

Acorus Gramineus ‘Variegata’* (Japanese Rush)

Grasses are always a great way to add some dynamic structure toyour garden. They enable movement and structure as well as colour to be incorporated into your borders to provide winter structure when flowers are few and far between. This evergreen Japanese grass is hardy and can grow in any soil and will even tolerate areas prone to flooding.

So, whether you’re looking for movement or structure within your borders or a way of adding a dramatic winter backdrop don’t forget grasses and stem as a way to provide better structure and silhouette for your ever green shrubs. Still feel confused? Call any person on the Aztec team for friendly free advice.