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Plant of the month, December 2023

Discover the beauty of a hardworking, lush shrub thriving in the right conditions — a true garden gem.

Plant of the month for December is Fatsia japonica

This is such a wonderful, hard working shrub when planted in the bright location. Too many times I have seen these poor plants in small tubs sitting on the new decking in, full sun, looking yellow and sorry for themselves. Give a lightly shaded site with a good supply of organic matter and these shrubs are hard to beat. They produce a “Lush” evergreen foliage, with an almost tropical appearance. Followed by panicles of milk-white flowers in late summer into autumn. And to finish off the year (or to start the next one) there are masses of black fruits.

Suffers from the odd phenomenon of a thing I call “Plant Snobbery”! Just because a plant can be seen as “Common” doesn’t mean it’s not garden worthy.

Hard working, lush and well behaved a must have plant, in the right place!

Sunlight shining through grasses at the Trewithen Estate in Cornwall

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