Mahonia plants are becoming very popular in the UK, mainly because of their ability to bring a much-needed burst of colour to a winter garden. The long leaves of a Mahonia are divided up into smaller leaflets and the majority of varieties are dark green in colour; with this being an evergreen genus, the leaves will provide interest all year round. The flowers are the real gem of this shrub as they are packed on to upright racemes and open up over winter; they are often followed by black or purple fruits.
You can plant Mahonias in any well-drained soil and they are quite happy in a shady spot in the garden that only gets limited sunshine. They make great groundcover and they also work well when planted in banks or slopes.