Winter garden

Here in the UK it may not be the season for gathering with friends for lazy afternoons of chilled drinks on the terrace yet winter holds it own wonders in the garden.  Winter days bring a uniquely ethereal light quality, a still dream-like quiet which whispers of it fleeting fragility and fosters a distant promise of new growth.

Cornus alba 'Siberica' in full winter show

The bare bones are exposed in the winter garden.  It is honest, a face without make-up.  This allows you to see it in its truest form without show-girl flowers and handsome leaves.  It is an opportunity for the supporting acts to step up and take centre stage; applaud the knarled bark and fire-red stems, the clean evergreen structure of that yew hedge and the perfectly plump berries and rose hips.

Wildlife needs little encouragement to come into your garden in winter. Even insects enjoy their home comforts and by opening your very own boutique hotel, ‘The Bug Hotel’, you welcome in a plethora of birdlife and small mammals such as the charming hedgehog.

Eryngium giganteum 'Silver Ghost' Miss Willmott's Ghost sea holly

Offering a haven for wildlife and the very essence of garden design and creation is a delicate balance of man made control versus letting nature prevail.  Allowing plants to die back naturally helps create habitat and a healthy rich soil composition.  Liberate your garden and indulge nature; leave seed heads to the frost,with the low winter light it makes for an enchanting sight from the warmth of your kitchen.

What is your favorite aspect of your winter garden?  Beautiful winter gardens to visit rich in inspiration include:

RHS Rosemoor, Devon

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

Waddesdon Gardens, Bucks

Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambs

Anglesey Abbey, Cambs

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