Many people think that there’s nothing going on in their gardens over the Winter months. Our gardens may not have the abundance of Summer, but there’s lots of more subtle elements to enjoy, both as a big picture and in close-up focus.
We put it into human context by describing it as the skeleton or bare bones of the garden, but Winter is when the structural elements that hold the garden together come into their own – hedges and walls that melt into the background in Summer, the shapely silhouette of trees without leaves, topiary, pergolas and walkways. This is when we appreciate the ground shape of the design laid bare, especially when viewed from upstairs windows.
Beyond the exuberant colour of Summer flowering, foliage and bark take prominence and add another season of interest. White stems of birch can be highlighted by drifts of snowdrops at their base and here a closely planted grove at Anglesey Abbey Gardens near Cambridge takes on an almost sculptural appearance. The polished bark of Prunus serrula or massed stems of Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire add a welcome splash of colour, particulary on sunny days. And where herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses are the mainstay, seedheads on strong stems not only encourage birds but look stunning on a frosty morning.
Next time you’re out in your garden or go for a country walk, see what treasures are to be found if you take a closer look!
Visit Anglesey Abbey and enjoy their snowdrop festival this month.