In the Depths of Winter the Winter Gardens Stand Strong
As the season changes and the colder weather wraps its chilly breath around us, winter gardens stand strong. Offering sharp silhouettes and crisp outlines, the trees cast stunning, long shadows in the low, winter sunshine. It always reminds me how important they are in our landscape. Even in small gardens, they offer shelter and nesting spots for birds as well as berries and seeds providing crucial food for our feathered friends. The mesmerising movement in their branches remind us of the icy winds outside as we spend more time inside the warmth of our homes.
A great website listing the best British winter gardens to visit is https://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/seasonal/winter-gardens.html
Layers of leaves left on borders will protect your precious plants through the freezing temperatures, acting as a natural blanket. More tender plants, such as agapanthus and dahlias in particular will benefit from an additional mulch. In the South-East, I never lift anything and it copes well with being left in the cold ground. as you start your garden tidy in spring the leaf fall can be cleared. Leave your perennials to stand tall so they also will protect the new growth below.
When we design new planting schemes, we always think about how the plant will look during the winters decay. This is as important to us as the other three seasons. Such beautiful, sculptural forms can be achieved by so many plants. The white dusting of the morning’s frosts can be truly spectacular. Yet it is the evergreens that hold their own through the winter months. Standing proud in the space that they share with spent flower heads, their smug beauty creates a strong backbone to the garden.
Visiting a Garden in Winter
True inspiration can be achieved by visiting a garden in winter, wrap up warm and feel energised by the shape, outline and contours of the landscape around you.
Some beautiful winter gardens I have visited are:-