January’s plant of the month is Mahonia japonica – an evergreen shrub which flowers in winter (one of the few that does!). It has leathery, spiny leaves so is good to use as a barrier plant. Fragrant yellow flowers, sometimes followed by black or purple berries. It will grow to a height of 1.5m in any aspect in full or partial shade. It will grow in any well-drained or moist but well-drained soil in shade or partial shade. Good for a woodland setting.