The weekend is looming up and wouldn’t you know it, rain is forecast …. but let’s not be fed-up about this. I’m all for embracing the seasons whatever the weather, after all there are seeds to be sown, a job for inside, with a big mug of tea. Winter gets a bad press, so here’s a look at plants that look great in winter.
It was one of those very, chilly, sunny January days with bright, blue skies when I took these at Wisley Gardens.
Rhododendron dauricum ‘Mid-winter’ has pretty, rose-mauve flowers in January-December.
It likes a sunny, sheltered position in rich, well-drained, acid soil
Height and spread 1.5 m
Colour isn’t everything, I also like faded, earthy tones especially when the flowers stay on the plant and turn into little filigree shapes. This lace-cap hydrangea is a splendid site in summer, the flower clusters have a ring of white flowers around the edge, with green buds that open into smaller pink or blue flowers.
Hydrangea macrophylla Lanarth White is a tough one, tolerant of poor soils and cold, exposed places, but it doesn’t like to be too dry in summer, [macrophylla means large leaved]
The central flowers are pink when it’s planted on more neutral soil, but blue on acidic soil.
Height and spread 1.2 x 1.2m
Looking at the bigger picture, shapes and outlines show up in winter, when there’s less foliage to be distracted by.
Lopping branches off this rhododendron, and this goes for any large shrub/small tree, has made it into a wonderful shape, as good as any piece of sculpture.
How’s your weekend looking, will you be planting seeds too?
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson.