The recent snow has given the edge to plants grown for their winter stem colour. The light green stems of Cornus stolonifera ‘Flaviramea’ show up as the sun, low on the winter horizon, sends a shaft of light through the border. The species, C. stolonifera, having red bark, is native to North America where it is widespread.
The best way to manage these deciduous shrubs is by stooling annually. In late March, just prior to bud burst, ruthlessly cut to ground level all the previous years’ growth. As the plant ages it becomes a mass of twigs from which fresh growth appears. If left to its own devices it reaches 3 metres with intertwined growth. The vigour and glabrous stem colour is lost with ageing