Many shrubs have the benefit of being easy to plant and transplant, plus, by growing a range of shrubs, you can provide valuable year-round interest. For example, the attractive branching form of hazel is draped with pendulous yellow catkins in winter and lush leaves from spring to autumn. Here are some colourful and unusual shrubs with autumn appeal.
Discover our pick of the five best February flowering shrubs for February flowers, colour and scent, below.
The white, sweetly fragrant flowers of Lonicera fragrantissima, or winter honeysuckle, are produced along the lengths of long, tapering stems, creating an eye-catching display. For the most flowers, plant it in a sunny spot so both you and and winter pollinators can enjoy the flowers.
If you're gardening on ericaceous soil, then it's worth growing winter shrubs like camellias for their large, showy flowers alone. Don't worry if your soil type is too alkaline, as you can pot up camellias in containers. 'Jury's Yellow' has large, pale-yellow double flowers, while 'Jitsugetsusei' has single pink blooms, with a mass of stamens in the centre.
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Hamamelis, or witch hazels, are ideal February flowering shrubs or small trees. Most cultivars have bright, yellow flowers, like 'Brevipetala', but you could also try the copper-red flowered 'Diane', or the pink-cream blooms of 'Strawberries and Cream'. All witch hazels have a lovely winter scent, with some smelling sweet and others spicy or of citrus.
The pendulous flowering catkins of Garrya elliptica that appear from mid-winter to early-spring, have a pretty, icicle-like appearance, while the leaves provide valuable evergreen colour. Grow in a sheltered position to protect it from leaf scorch and be sure to choose a male plant, which have the best catkins.
Aptly named February daphne for the profusion of highly scented flowers that appear in late winter, Daphne mezereum is a shade-loving woodland plant, so it's ideal if you have a gloomy corner in need of cheering up. Once planted, avoid moving daphnes as they dislike root disturbance.