A witch hazel plant to brighten up the garden

It is around this time of year that gardeners start wondering what they can plant to spruce up their garden over the festive period.

Those who wish to take a break from work in the greenhouse and get out into the cold for a little may consider the witch hazel – part of the hamamelidaceae group and recommended recently by the Daily Mail.

According to the paper, shrubs such as the Hamemelis mollis are "well-behaved" and "well-proportioned" and will inject some life into a winter garden.

Its golden-yellow blooms should also last into spring – just when other plants are beginning to flower.

Another option is the Hamemelis virginiana, considered by some to be one of the most beautiful winter-flowering shrubs available.

The robust shrubs also need very little pruning, making them ideal for the cold winter months, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

The RHS does advise that roses are pruned in late winter as that is when they begin to grow once more.