Plant of the Month: Nandina
Grow Nandina for vibrant colour through the seasons. It's a small and compact evergreen shrub with red leaves. It's also known as sacred bamboo, even though it's not a bamboo. As the name suggests, it is popular in the Far East, where it's thought to dispel bad dreams.
Nandina's new growth is characterised by deep red foliage and followed by vivid red berries in the autumn. For a small plant, it puts on a spectacular show and can really brighten a dull patch through the months when there's less colour in the garden. As an added bonus, it has clusters of small white flowers in the summer.
It looks stunning planted with other evergreen shrubs that have red berries, such as a variegated holly and Skimmia. Nandina likes a sheltered position in full sun. It takes little care, although you can cut back any leggy shoots in early spring to keep its symmetrical shape. It’s dainty enough to look good in a container, and is fairly hardy against frosts, so long as it’s sheltered.