Top of the pots - berries and stems

Small shrubs with berries look great in window boxes at this time of year.  Add some tall colourful stems for extra impact.  Here are our suggestions:

Skimmias are hardy and reliable evergreen shrubs with berries or flower buds that look great in containers.  S. japonica ‘Rubella’ has tiny clusters of tight dark pink flower buds throughout the winter.  Skimmia japonica ‘Nymans’ has bright red berries and Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ has more subtle green flower beds.  These neat attractive shrubs looks great teamed with heather or hellebore.

The red-berried Gaultheria procumbens is a neat low spreading evergreen shrub that will look good tumbling over a container and the large red berries and reddish-tinged leaves will cheer up a winter’s day.

Solanum capsicastrum has cheery orange fruit that looks like tiny clementines.  Plant them en masse for impact or pop them in between strappy silvery astelia or ferns. 

Small varieties of nandina such as Nandina with deep red leaves in autumn and scarlet berries would make a great choice for a larger pot or trough.

Using tall plants such as Cornus (dogwood) add height and beautiful elegant coloured stems when they're young plants.  Try red-stemmed Cornus alba 'Sibirica' or Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'for bright orange stems.  They look great rising out of a base green ferns or shrubs.