Winter Colour and OOTS News

If we have anything approaching a signature planting combination in our part of Chippenham it's gold and red stemmed Cornus alba edged with Cotoneaster horizontalis. This is a particularly fine example found outside Morrison's this afternoon in the kind of bright light you find just before the most rain lashing of storms.

At this time of the year it really brightens up the neighbourhood, particularly when some of the Cotoneaster has been cloud pruned. Later on it fades into the background somewhat, but it's worth it for those 3 months of cheerful bright stems during our gloomiest times.

I've decided to make a slight change to Out on the Streets this year. I won't be running it quarterly, but plan on asking for your contributions in April, August and December instead. I recall that many of you wanting to join in across the pond last time found March a bit early and as everything over here is much later this year, it seems sensible to go for an April edition instead. An August OOTS also gives us an opportunity to view plantings at their peak and for you to report back on holiday sightings. December will be sparkly and festive as usual.


  1. Must be a Wiltshire thing - as fairly comon round here too. It is cheering I agree.

  2. Oh oh, I took pictures in fermanagh of the sorry planting schemes (hahahahahahahahahaha - pee your pants inducing) I'll send you them for a giggle.

    My security word is - mulized, i like it :)

  3. Thanks VP, April will produce much prettier OOTS posts here than March. I had been scouting around today, and it looked pitiful. My neighbor Mickey has a large swath of cotoneaster that is that purple color, it looks wonderful. I like the red and yellow twigs too. We have those in our front garden, but with only a couple of shrubs, it lacks the pizzazz of that mass planting. Cuttings needed! :-)

  4. April, August and December sounds doable. I apparently need a master calendar for all the posts I want to post on! There is something wonderful about mass planting like the cornus. Our local small botanical center has a marvelous planting...Although, it's been too cold to visit them. gail

  5. Great idea...I love your OOTS idea. I'll definately try to include something from across the pond! I'll be searching my community and watching your blog for the deadline.

  6. I have mixed feelings about Cotoneaster (mostly depending on how it's used)but the scene in the photo is very rural-looking and attractive.


  7. I love Cornus Alba, but hadn't thought to combine it with Cotoneaster - I'll have to give it a go ......once I've tranplanted the Cornus to a different position to better enjoy its red stems! :)

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone - I'm glad it's made some of you consider these plants afresh.

    Esther - this combination is right on the edge of town, so the fact it looks quite rural means the planners have got the transition from rural to urban quite right for once.

    Glad an April OOTS is a better fit for you! Joan I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Watch out for the kick off post at the beginning of April :)


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