Golden Winter Colour

Golden Winter Colour

Lonicera nitida Baggessen's Gold

What colours predominate in the grey winter days when greens seem muddy and mud seems very grey. Well I like golden yellow colours and here are a couple of January examples that didn’t take much trouble finding in the garden during a short sunny spell.

Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ tips you off in the title. This relative of the honeysuckle is grown for its leaf and the ability to prune to shape. It will not flower and is easy to propagate from cuttings. Unpruned the leaves can appear bicoloured but young growth will be fresh and bright golden coloured. It is easy to prune and a very forgiving shrub. Close up these small ovate leaves are not made from gold leaf unfortunately.

Tight leaf formation

Choisya ternata Sundance was another yellow shrub doing its best in the weak January sun this afternoon. If the winter is too prolonged some young yellow leaves may get slightly frost burnt but despite -8 degrees last week these shrubs are still showing well. I also like the smell of bruised leaves and the delicate white spring blossom. This golden wonder performs even in a crisp winter frost.

Choisya ternata golden sun

Euonymous fortunei Emerald ‘n’ Gold has more gold than emerald in this shady part of the garden. There is a hint of rose colouring on some of the leaves. The AGM award by the RHS is as near to a gold medal as you can get and this variety has long held awards of this nature.


Amongst the many yellow and golden conifers the following may be worthy of  note  :  Juniperus chinensis ‘Aurea’ a golden columnar form up to 20 feet tall, Taxus baccata Golden Irish Yew also columnar and Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldencrest’ upto 50 feet tall. I hope you are lucky and find the end ofrainbows in your winter garden of gold.

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