Red Classics: plants of the month for November

Days getting shorter? A bit of cheer and passion in the form of holly, Skimmia and Leucothoe is just what you need at this time of year.

Being in the red was never so delightful
In the dark days before December the garden is gradually settling into its hibernation. By adding Red Classics there is still plenty to see and experience when you look outside. Holly, Skimmia and Leucothoe offer flowers, berries and fabulous coloured foliage in a spectrum from pink to bright red. Those colours not only counteract November’s often grey days, but can also be used to create some natural festive cheer in the garden next month.

3 bets on red

Holly offers evergreen leaves and bright red berries, and is a decorative shrub that provides some shine when the days are getting shorter. 

Skimmia has green leaves and sparkling berries. The plant brings colour to autumn and winter, is green in the spring and treats you with fragrant flowers in late summer.

Leucothoe is the chameleon amongst ornamental shrubs and changes colour in autumn from green to yellow, pink, red and purple. And those beautiful leaves stay in place all winter long.

Red from all corners of the world
Holly grows in regions with a temperate climate, from high in the mountains to the coasts of Asia, Europe, North Africa, North and South America. In the wild Skimmia grows in the forests of China and other parts of Asia such as the Himalayas. And Leucothoe is particularly native to mountainous forest areas from North America through to the Far East

Red classics – this is why

  • Red has an instant effect: it adds drama to the sightlines in your garden in the right way.
  • Red Classics fit perfectly with the orange and yellow that is appearing on the plants and trees around them.
  • Holly, Skimmia and Leucothoe are also an attractive feature during the rest of the year thanks to their surprising shapes.

Garden trend: recycle
Red Classics look wonderfully contemporary in a restrained, clear arrangement at various heights. The containers can reference recycling – such as metal barrels or zinc containers – in order to reflect the sustainability trend. It’s a matter of looking at what you already have in order to use it in a new way. The colours are understated: black, white, grey, brown and matt blue to offset the powerful green and red of the Red Classics.

“If I could tell you about red, I would sing to you of fire sweet like cherries, burning like cinnamon, smelling like a rose in the sun.”
Dixie Dawn Miller Goode

How to maintain their beauty

  • Holly prefers to be in full sun to partial shade, Leucothoe in partial shade with a couple of hours sun, and Skimmia’s berries develop best in the shade.
  • Red Classics do best on well-draining soil and do not like to be moved: give them their own spot from the start.
  • Leucothoe need slightly more water than the other two.
  • Only prune holly and Skimmia if necessary, prune Leucothoe after flowering in June before its autumn display.
  • All the Red Classics become more beautiful every year.