Garden Design


Plant of the Month

December 1, 2023 by James Cooepr

This month its all about the structure of the garden and more specifically the planted structure.  At this time of the year much of the garden interest has gone leaving only the bones of the planting layout, so it is really important to choose some plant types which have a strong architectural impact.  We have chosen our top choices of plants we think you should be including.

First up is the Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’ quite an exotic choice you may think but the dark purple/bown leaves give a useful structural impact to a border, this coupled with it’s more compact size make it a good bet.

A great plant association of Hellebore, Box and Phormium


Our next contender is the Hebe topiara, a low mound forming Hebe which has small insignificant white flowers but it’s form is what we are after so this makes it onto our list.  This Hebe can be gently trimmed to maintain a smaller shape which we use often on the corners of borders to act as a ‘pivot point’

Couple with mid height grasses such as Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ to bring instant structure to your winter garden.

Plant of the Month Hebe topiara

Hebe topiara in the foreground teamed with Choisya ternata and Ilex aquifolium.

Finally we have chosen a great little structural plant, one which we think doesn’t get enough airtime, the Libertia peregrinians.  This variety has fabulous burnt orange coloured leaves and will gently spread to form a useful year round impact.  Team it with Thymus coccineus for a bold colour statement in the summer months.

JJ Garden Designs Suffolk - path to summerhouse

Libertia planted at the edge of a gravel path with Alliums for company.


Whilst it may not be an inviting prospect, now is the time to plant larger shrubs so get a scarf on and get out there.