The Mains of Drum

Skim About Skimmia

Published 27/10/2022

Skimmias have a long season of interest. Skimmias have evergreen, aromatic foliage, pretty flowers in late spring and all through winter they have attractive heads of tightly-closed flower buds and/or cheerful colourful berries.

Choose Skimmias with care as most varieties have either male or female flowers.

• Male plants have flowers only and no berries.
• The beautiful berries form on female plants and only when there is a male plant nearby.
• Some Skimmia varieties have both male and female flowers on the same plant and produce both flowers and berries. These do not require a partner. They are referred to as ‘hermaphrodite’ or ‘self-fertile’.

Male flowers can have a beautiful scent whilst the females have a more delicate fragrance or no fragrance at all.

Skimmia look superb growing alone in pots or accompanied by small plants like trailing Ivy, Gaultheria or small ferns. They will thrive for several years in a pot provided they are fed with a slow-release ericaceous fertiliser in spring. They grow best in a shady spot in Ericaceous compost, ideal for a woodland border.

Male plants (flowers only)

  • S. ‘Delight’ (pink flower buds)
  • S. ‘Finchy’ (creamy white flowers)
  • S. ‘Fragrans’/‘Fragrant Cloud’ (heavily-scented white flowers)
  • S. x confusa ‘Kew Green’ (great pollinator)
  • S. ‘Magic Marlot’ (variegated leaves, red flower buds)
  • S. ‘Rubella’ (red flower buds) (Seen in Header)
  • S. ‘White Globe’ (flower buds turn pure white)
  • S. ‘Wanto’ (red flower buds)

Female plants (berries, grow with a male nearby)

  • S. ‘Kew White’ (white berries)
  • S. ‘Nymans’ (red berries)
  • S. ‘Olympic Flame’ (red berries)
  • S. ‘Pabella’ (stunning, glossy red berries)
  • S. ‘Red Diamonds’ (red berries)
  • S. ‘Red Riding Hood’ (red berries)
  • S. ‘Veitchii’ (syn. S. x foremanii) (red berries)

Hermaphrodite (both flowers and berries on same plant)

  • S. ‘Obsession’ (glossy red berries)
  • S. reevesiana ‘Godries Dwarf’ (small plant, red berries)
  • S. reevesiana ‘Godries Little Ruby’ (small plant, red berries)
  • S. ‘Temptation’ (red berries)

Other Articles

The Mains of Drum

Perfect Poinsettias

Red, white, pink, orange and various shades in between, add a lovely pop of colour to our houses in winter. These plants like a warm room away from any drafts.

View Article
The Mains of Drum

The Wonders of a Winter Garden

Create interest in the garden in winter. From winter scent to evergreen plants, a guide from our Plant Team on utilising your garden over winter.

View Article
The Mains of Drum

Create a stylish winter wreath

Winter is a wonderful time to get creative. As the days are short and cold we tend to spend more time inside and less in our gardens. For this project you can bring a little bit of nature inside, or hang it on your front door. You can take cuttings from the garden, forage for foliage, berries, and cones (if the weather permits!), or buy real or artificial foliage and flowers instead. It's up to you what you want to include on your wreath!

First off it's best to go with a theme. Are you wanting a traditional wreath, with red, gold and green? Or maybe something more modern like silver, blue and green? Or you could even go rustic with a simple green and brown colour palette. There's so many different options to suit every taste.

Next decide what kind of wreath base you want to use. You can use rattan (like I have here), or a base with wire and moss. Moss is a good option as it holds moisture, keeping your wreath fresher for longer.

Once you've decided on a theme and you have your base, it's time to choose what foliage, flowers or fruits and decorations you want to include. Make sure to have plenty of foliage, as this is the back bone of your wreath and what makes it look full. There's no right or wrong combination, so just experiment with what you think works well together, and have fun!

Stick the stems into the base until they are secure, or for extra hold you can use a little florists wire to keep the stem in place. Work your way around the wreath ensuring there is a balanced amount of foliage. I tend to add odd numbers of things as this works best.

Once you're happy with the foliage you can start to add in any cones, berries, dried flowers and fruit. You could even wrap around a small set off lights, which will illuminate your wreath and add a bit of festive sparkle. Finish off by adding any bows (you'll need something at the top to hang the wreath from, but you can also add for decoration).

And voila, a festive wreath! Mist the foliage each day to keep your wreath fresher for longer, avoiding the berries, dried flowers or fruit. And for those of you who don't feel so confident making your own or simply don't have the time, we have a lovely selection of pre-made wreaths in store now in a range of styles and sizes.

View Article