There isn't much colour in the back garden at the moment, but my Mahonia Japonica makes a welcome burst of sunshine amid all this rain we're having lately. The bright yellow flowers will be followed by purple seeds. It lives at the far end of the garden and is hidden from view until I get 2/3 of the way down the gardenpath, however if I am working in the shed I can see it from the window- a cheery sight to give me inspiration.
Mahonias are full-half hardy and prefer shade or semi shade, so my one is perfectly at home under the willow tree. They like a well drained, fertile soil, not too dry. they are evergreen and grown for both foliage and racemes of sometimes fragrant yellow bellshaped flowers. Some of the taller varieties have deeply fissured bark.Taller ones make good specimen plants while he low growing varieties are good for groundcover.