Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' - This deciduous shrub has oval, mid-green leaves and produces small, creamy-white flowers in May and June. But it's really grown for the brilliant, flame-coloured stems that are revealed when the leaves, which turn orange-yellow in autumn.
Mahonia × media 'Winter Sun' prefers shade and delivers bold spikes of bright yellow flowers from Nov to March. It is a big plant, up to 5m x 4m, if not pruned back. Best planted with other shrubs in front to hide its 'legs'.
Erigeron karvinskianus 'Mexican fleabane' Masses of small daisies, emerging white, then turning pink, with yellow centres, give this plant an unusual, two-tone effect. It has a long flowering period, from May to October, and is amazingly versatile, being low-growing, happy in su sun or partial shade and thriving in any well-drained soil. It's also tolerant of coastal conditions. Try it as an edging plant in a mixed border, alongside paths, in a gravel garden or spilling over walls.
Aster 'Little Carlow'.Masses of small, cheerful, violet-blue daisies with bright yellow centres appear from late summer to mid-autumn on soft stems. A pretty aster that has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. It loves some shade and will add a splash of colour to a late summer border.