Winter used to feel like a time when I was just waiting for Spring to begin, a break in the proceedings before we could really get on with the business of gardening. This is partly because in my job, winter can be frustrating when the ground is too hard and frosty to plant or lay paving.
Gardens may not be lush and bright at this time of year, but they have their own special beauty and you can really see how the bones of the garden work.
So I was pleased to be at Wisley Gardens when there was a sharp hoare frost a couple of days ago. It was late afternoon so the sky had that steely colour you get when the light is fading in winter.
This is a perfect example of how you don’t need lots of flower colour for interest. The contrasting shapes of shrubs, paths that lead you through the garden and a nice balance of open space is what makes it all so attractive.
This is what the Hornbeam columns look like in summer:
The shape of this Japanese maple below, is just as lovely in winter as it is when it’s in leaf. They look great in pots too if you haven’t got space in your garden.
Winter is a great time to look at your garden and check if it really does have a nice, structural lay-out. If it doesn’t you can sit inside in the warm and make plans for next year.
images: Jill Anderson