When all the flowers have felt the cold, frosty nights and withered away into nothing it can be hard to find plants that will give some interest over the winter. This plant is not often chosen for its leaves or flowers but for the colour of its bark – revealed when the leaves drop in autumn. Dogwood comes into its own on a sunny winter’s day and with the backdrop of frost or against pure white snow, it stands out brilliantly in crimson red.
Do not prune in its first year but from then on prune almost to the ground in early spring. ‘Sibirica’ is complemented by the planting of Whitewashed Bramble (Rubus cockburnianus) – another winter gem, which offers a wintery white bark to contrast with the red. Cornus look best planted in groups and are very unfussy, undemanding plants. A must for any garden in need of winter colour.