In winter, one of the star performers at Barnsley House is Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ with its striking crowns of bright yellow flowers that smell of Lily of the Valley. It is also evergreen with very sculptural foliage that is the perfect foil for associated planting year-round. Viburnum x bodnantense is a good performer and its relative Viburnum farreri is similar; but with whiter flowers and that lovely clove scent.
“Other than shrubs, we have many perennials, bulbs and corms that bring colour to the darker months such as Cyclamen coum that comes in white through to deep pinks, whilst its cousin Cyclamen hederifolium spangles the ground beneath trees with its marbled foliage (it flowers in late summer). In February, the driveway is a sea of bright yellow Winter Aconites; which early bees love. At Barnsley House, we have every colour of Hellebore from white, black, red eyed yellows and pinks. The Hellebores are big players from late December through to spring, and the flowers are looking lovely with the young foliage, cutting back the old Hellebore foliage around now.”
We have also had Snowdrops in flower from late autumn and Galanthus elwessii is now just starting to flower around the garden, two particular favourites are the showy double ‘Rodmarton’ and the vigorous ‘Atkinsii’ that flower all along the Winter and Laburnum Walks.”
Information provided by Richard Gatenby, Head Gardener, Barnsley House