With thoughts turning to autumn I thought I’d mention a few shrubs and trees which are invaluable for the quieter time of the gardening year whether it be for the promise of scented winter flowers, stem colour or their evergreen leaves. Some of these plants aren’t particularly unusual and I spot a few of them planted up outside supermarkets as ground cover and then hacked into submission so that they become quite unrecognisable. I feel quite a pang when I see the state they are in. This needn’t happen!

Cotoneaster horizontalis was introduced from Western China by the intrepid Père David in 1870. Its branches grow in a herringbone pattern and it’s perfect for planting on a bank or up against a shady wall

Cotoneaster horizontalis was introduced from Western China by the intrepid Père David in 1870. Its branches grow in a herringbone pattern and it’s perfect for planting on a bank or up against a shady wall

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