Ideal Christmas Gifts

...December

‘Ideas for Christmas gifts’ with Skimmia species

 

SkimmiaThe short days leading up to Christmas may not be prime gardening time but the chances are that these days you’ll be doing a good deal of your Christmas shopping at the Ducks Hill. Why not add some plants to your shopping list – everyone will love them! Many winter berrying plants are now available in containers; these make great Christmas presents and can be used on patios and balconies and in cool conservatories to add to the festive decorations.

One of the finest winter berrying plants is Skimmia reevesiana. This is a compact, dwarf, evergreen shrub and the crimson red fruits stay on the plant throughout winter and are especially seasonal in December.

These are slow growing plants which make them ideal for growing in containers and pots. They form a low compact mound reaching a height of about 1m. The aromatic leaves are dark green, shiny and pointed. From May onwards clusters of small white flowers appear which are followed by the crimson berries.

Skimmia reevesiana is a hermaphrodite plant (male and female organs) which means that it will bear berries as a single plant. This is a real asset when choosing a plant for a gift. They do best in a moist, fertile position and will tolerate shade or semi-shade. Skimmia reevesiana will not thrive in chalky soil, so if this is the case for you, grow in a container or pot to provide the ideal soil conditions.

Another option could be Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’. In this case it is the red-margined leaves and dark red flower buds that provide the visual interest in autumn and winter. White berries are on offer from Skimmia japonica ‘Fructo Albo’. Browse the range on offer, but do check if male and female are required for berries on the plants you have chosen.

Easy to grow, frost hardy and requiring little maintenance or pruning, any of your friends or family would be pleased to receive a skimmia or two this year. And why not take the opportunity to choose an elegant pot to complement your Christmas gift?

Material courtesy of www.the-hta.org.uk

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