Pimp your Mahonia21st December 2018 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
Mahonias don’t get a particularly good press, mainly because they are too often left to grow straggly – which is not a good look. Bare stems, sparse leaves and a top knot of flowers doesn’t show this plant off to its best advantage, however sweet the perfume of its winter flowers. Later in the year its dusky blue berries also deserve a better setting. My recent visit to the new Winter Garden at Wakehurst Place was as interesting for the plants that were retained as for those that were newly planted. The mahonias were especially impressive – after a very hard prune they had regrown into dense, bushy plants smothered in flowers. They can be given this treatment at any time of year, but ideally immediately after the flowers have faded. So if your mahonia is far from being your pride and joy, hard prune it, loosen and improve the soil around it with some well-rotted compost and next winter your mahonia can become a star attraction in your winter garden.