Advent Calendar 2012

Welcome to my advent Calendar

I am aiming to provide you a plant with Winter interest
for each day of Advent.

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)

Well here you have it 24 plant suggestions for colour throughout the winter months.

24th December ▬ Abies nordmanniana

Botanical name: Abies nordmanniana
Other names: Chrsistmas Tree, Nordmann Fir












Use:  Bring into the home at Christmas and decorate with fairy lights,baubles and tinsel.  Some prefer to top the tree with an angel or fairy while others choose a large star.

Cultivation:   Plant in moist but well-drained slightly acidic soil. Or in a bucket decorated with tinsel and crepe paper, preferably red and surrounded colourful wrapped presents.

 23rd December ▬ Mistletoe

Botanical name: Viscum album
Other names: Mistletoe, Witches Broom











Use:  It is a parasitic shrub, which grows on the stems of other trees.

There are lots of legends and traditions surrounding mistletoe, the most well known and popular being the kissing one. It was believed that kissing under the mistletoe would lead to marriage.

22nd December ▬ Hedera Helix

Botanical name: Hedera Helix
Other names: Common English Ivy








Use: Ivy is a vigourous evergreen climbing shrub with dark-green five-lobed leaves and insignificant cream flowers in late summer to early autumn, followed by black berries.  Use as ground cover or wall cover in sun or shade.  Other varieties have bolder variegation in cream and yellow.

Cultivation:  Plant in any soil in any aspect. This vigorous plant may be invasive.

21st December ▬ Ilex

Botanical name: Ilex aquifolium ‘JC van Tol’
Other names: Holy













Use:  Evergreen shrub with glossy spikey leaves and red berries are produced in autumn and winter.

Cultivation:  Grow in moist, free-draining, humus-rich soil in full sun to partial shade.

Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


20th December – Snowdrop

Botanical name: Galanthus nivalis
Other names: Snowdrop

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)













Use: A familiar image on many Christmas cards the Snowdrop is a bulbous perennial with narrow, grey-green leaves, and solitary, nodding, fragrant, double white flowers in late winter . Use as under planting in a woodland setting or at border edges in the garden.

Cultivation: Plant in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil that does not dry out in summer. Although you can plant bulbs, it is better to plant ‘in the green’, when the plant has foliage and flowers in show. These tend to establish better than bulbs without growth.

Awards:  RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


19th December – Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Botanical name:  Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
Other names: Contorted Hazel

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)













Use: is a bulbous perennial with narrow, grey-green leaves, and solitary, nodding, fragrant, double white flowers in spring.

Cultivation: Plant in moist, free-draining, ideally alkaline soil in full sun or partial shade. Remove suckers, as they will emerge from the stronger species rootstock which will overpower ‘Contorta’.

Awards: Many varieties have been awarded the RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


18th December ▬ Lonicera

Botanical name:  Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’
Common name: Winter Honeysuckle










Use: Mid -sized deciduous shrub with ovate light-green leaves. In winter and early spring it bears small, sweetly scented, cream flowers on its bare branches.

Cultivation:  Plant in full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil.

Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


17th December – Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’

Botanical name: Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’
Common name: Oleaster ‘Gilt Edge’










Use: This evergreen shrub makes a great alternative to holy in a Christmas display or door wreath as it has great green and yellow colour and good leaf shape is much easier to handle than spiney holy.  It rarely berries  but you could use berries from an Acuba or Cotoneaster in an arrangement or try using some artificial berries to add colour.  Its also great to brighten up a border especially in part shade.

Cultivation:  Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.


16th December ▬ Phormium

Botanical name: Phormium ‘Jester’
Common name : New Zealand Flax










Use : Winter interest doesn’t necessarily mean it has to flower or berry in the winter.  Phormiums make a great focal point at any time of year.  Make sure you check the size it will grow to as many can reach 2m in height and width.

Cultivation:  Grow moist, well-drained, fertile soil in full sun, will also tolerate partial shade.  Cut back the flower stalks to the base after they have finished.


15th December ▬ Pansy

Botanical name: Viola ‘Winter Flowering’
Common name Pansy ‘Winter Flowering’










Use : A short lived winter flowering perennial that is usually grown as an annual and best used in containers with other winter flowering favourites such as Bellis, Primrose and Cyclamen

Cultivation:  Grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.


14th December ▬ Symphoricarpos

Botanical name: Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus
Common name:  Common snowberry













Use: Decisuous shrun with arching branches and white berries through winter.    Drought Tolerant and usefull on banks or slopes and can be used as an informal hedge

Cultivation: Grow in any fertile, reasonably well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Pollution tolerant.


13th December ▬ Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’

Botanical name: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’
Common name : Witch hazel










Use: One of my favourite plants, I would use it as a specimen focal point for winter, may at the end of a view from the Kitchen sink.  Its not much of a show in summer but its spidery and heavily scented flowers are wonderful in winter.  Also works well in a woodland location.

Cultivation: Plant in moist, free-draining soil in full sun or dappled shade, however too much shade will reduce flowering. Will tolerate deep, humus-rich soils over chalk.

Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


12th December ▬ Cotoneaster x watereri

Botanical name: Cotoneaster x watereri
Common name:  Cotoneaster x watereri










Use large shrub or small tree with arching branches. It has large, dull green foliage and red berries in autumn and winter.  It can be used to  make a hedge or as structure in a mixed border.

Cultivation : Grow in well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Needs some shelter from cold, drying winds.


11th December – Pyracantha

Botanical name:  Pyracantha
Other names:

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)











Use: Pyrancantha is an evergreen shrub which produces white flowers in May but its real beauty is its striking profusion of Red or Orange berries in Autumn and Winter.  Often used as a hedge and especially good as a security measure as it has very large and very sharp spikes that will deter the keenest intruder.

Cultivation: Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. In frost-prone areas, shelter from cold, drying winds. Tolerates air pollution.

Awards: Many varieties have been awarded the RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

10th December  – Erica carnea

Botanical name:  Erica carnea

Other names: Winter flowering heather

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)

Use : Low growing evergreeen heathers really bring a splash of pink, purple and white to a garden.  Traditionally grown in a rock garden or rockery. But I use it as the central feature in a container, planted with cyclamen or pansies.  You could also move the plant to the border when its time to re-plant the containers.

Cultivation: Plant in well-drained, acidic soil in full sun.


9th December  – Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’

Botanical name:  Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Charles Lamont’

Other names: Arrowwood ‘Charles Lamont’

Viburnum : There are countless viburnums most are Evergreen and provide structure in a mixed border.  Charles Lamont is a great one for winter flowering and scent and I think is ideal in a front garden where you pass it by and are able to smell its fragrant flowers

Cultivation: Plant in moderately fertile, humus rich, moist but well-drained soil in sun or shade.

Awards : RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


8th December – Mahonia

Botanical name:  Mahonia x media ‘Charity’

Other names: Oregon grape ‘Charity’

(pictures shown are a guide only and may not be of the specific cultivar)

Mahonia: Is a bushy, upright, evergreen shrub with dark-green, spiny, glossy leaves. In autumn and winter it bears fragrant, yellow flowers which are followed by blue-black berries.Cultivation: Plant in well-drained, or moist but well-drained, soil in shade or partial shade.

7th December - Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna

Botanical name:  Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna
Other names:  Sweet Box

Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna is an evergreen shrub with  narrow, mid-green leaves. In winter, it bears small clusters of tiny, fragrant, cream flowers, followed by small, black berries in summer.

Use:  can be used as an informal hedge or in a mixed border for evergreen structure, but I would plant close to a door or gateway to get the best of its winter scent

Cultivation: Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well drained, humus-rich soil in deep or partial shade in a sheltered position. If soil remains moist during summer, it will tolerate a sunny position. Pollution and drought tolerant.

Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

6th December - Jasminum nudiflorum

Botanical name:  Jasminum nudiflorum
Other names: Winter Jasmine

Winter Jasmine

Jasminum nudiflorum: is a deciduous shrub with long, arching branches, bearing bright yellow flowers in winter and spring on bare stems

Use:  Makes a good informal hedge but be careful as it can look messy if left unkempt so prune after flowering in May.  Ideal for a splash of winter colour making a welcoming sight in a front garden.

Cultivation: Plant in well-drained soil in su or part shade. Prefers a sheltered spot.

Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


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