Does your garden come alive at winter?

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Does your garden come alive at winter?

Many of us assume that gardens are for the warmer months only. All of our efforts are made in ensuring that our outside space is ready for spring, with those little green shoots breaking through signalling the end of your garden’s hibernation. Winter is all about bringing in those vulnerable plants and perhaps stringing up some Christmas lights on that large conifer in the front garden.

Yet on a cold and crisp winter’s morning, when the sun’s shining and the frost or snow is making every little twig sparkle and shine, a winter garden can become truly magical.

No longer can you rely on the colour and warmth of those many flowers that adorn your garden during summer; the autumn hues of red and gold have long gone. Instead, a sparse, almost spiky alter ego emerges.

Evergreens, wooden bark and stems, stark railings or brick, the jumble of twigs usually obliterated by leaves are suddenly the main focus of your winter garden. Geometric shapes and silhouettes, carefully sculpted topiary and clean white snow and ice can create a cold, haunting yet beautiful landscape.

The scents of winter

Winter gardens can also have their own distinctive scent. Take, for example, the shrubby honeysuckle, also know as the ‘Winter Beauty’. Hardy and suitable for beginner gardeners, the shrubby honeysuckle flowers in late winter and early spring; fragrant flowers that will fill your outside space with delicious scent.

Another great winter shrub is the Chinese witch hazel, which flowers from December until February. Spidery and colourful flowers, delicately fragrant yet robust – perfect for the winter garden.

Then there is winter jasmine; better suited to the more experienced gardener, winter jasmine is a popular wall shrub that happily scrambles up and over low walls. With its bright green stems and tiny yellow flowers, it adds some welcome colour into your garden between December and March.

And we mustn’t forget the snowdrop; heralding the end of winter, common snowdrops flower in February and March. They are extremely hardy, so no matter how cold the weather, you can always depend on the snowdrop to remind you that spring will soon be here.

So this winter, don’t simply close the back door and pretend your garden doesn’t exist. Explore your winter garden, start to create your own magical garden and before you know it, spring will be all about planting ready for those snowy scenes rather than the August heat!

 

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