The Winter Garden.

Four years ago I created a winter garden here and since then I have gradually enlarged it and now I think it is looking really good. And it needs to look good to cheer the spirits on a day like this after weeks of unremitting gloom, storms and rain. Of course the photos would look better with sun sparkling on the garden, but it’s no good waiting for that to happen. At least it’s stopped raining for a bit. So I wrapped up warm and took a few shots to show you the winter garden whilst it is still winter. Of course spring bulbs make it look even better.






We are lucky in the UK to have a climate where we can grow so many plants which look wonderful in February. But this year, I do long for a sliding roof over the whole garden so that I can get out there and enjoy it even when storms with unpronounceable names are raging.

I haven’t labelled anything in this post so if you want to know what anything is please ask.

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44 Responses to The Winter Garden.

  1. sandy lawrence says:

    Your selection and placement of plants – perfection! I’d love to be standing in the midst of it all, just taking in all those wonderful smells. Winter is my favorite time to garden. Yes, enough! Sending best wishes for the end of catastrophic weather in the UK and onward to a lovely spring.

  2. I know it takes a lot of planning to have year round interest and your garden looks great. Do you get much snow where you are? I was in Durham in the winter and it was cold with some snow.

  3. Tina says:

    Beautiful garden, Chloris. Your choice of textured plants, paired with the softer shrubs and deciduous trees is gorgeous.

  4. Cortney says:

    It looks great! I love how you’ve paired the dogwood with the conifers, they really set each other off well. And, I’m quite envious of your stunning heathers!

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh it’s good to walking round your winter garden with you again, Chloris. What proportion of your garden would say it occupies now? It’s such an investment planting for winter and early spring interest, isn’t it? I took photographs for my end of month view this morning when it had temporarily stopped raining but was still grey – then an hour later we had bright blue skies! Hey ho…

  6. susurrus says:

    Beautiful. Winter gardens have an ethereal, open quality because we can look through while the leaves are gone, when our eyeline would normally be blocked.

  7. Lovely, I especially enjoyed seeing the Dogwoods, what are the little white flowering shrubs??

  8. magpiesue says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Especially the close up shots (love the red bark!). Our rain has stopped for the moment but I can’t get outside due to the really awful air quality courtesy of a neighbor’s burning something. :-I

  9. Beautiful. Lots of interest and colour. Such a good idea.

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    A winter garden it might be, but it is so full of beautiful, soft colours and interesting shapes and textures. Just lovely even without the sun.

  11. Kris Peterson says:

    There’s a lot of color in your winter garden, and I’m impressed to see so many flowering trees. What are the white-flowered shrubs shown in the foreground of the 8th photo? (I’m guessing it’s something I can’t grow but I’m interested in any case!)

  12. Heyjude says:

    You have a lovely mix of shrubs and trees with different colours and textures which is what a winter garden is all about I suppose, the addition of the winter heathers – now those are something that I should get for my north-facing courtyard – and the witch hazels and winter honeysuckle must add some fragrance too. March is definitely entering like a lion today (strong winds and showers, often with hail) so I am hopeful that it will leave like a lamb 🙂

  13. Annette says:

    You must be so pleased! It’s great how mature it already looks after such a short time. Is the large flowering shrub a Corylopsis? A great mix of colour, texture and structure. Things take so much more time to grow here with the summer droughts. Horrible weather here too, just cut my willow for the weaving class tomorrow which will cheer me up, no doubt. Bon courage x

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Annette, no it is not a corylopsis I have killed 3 of those. It is a Ribes ‘White Icicle’ which is much prettier than the ubiquitous pink one. You do willow weaving? What fun. Take care. x

      • Annette says:

        now that’s interesting! mine died as well, I wonder if they’re a bit delicate? Ribes sadly need too much water…mine died 😦 …yes, the willow weaving was most productive, or rather I was: a bowl, 2 obelisks and 2 plant supports

  14. Anna says:

    What a fabulous creation Chloris! Your winter garden must be bringing you so much joy especially when it is dreary. Can you see it from the house? Is that tree bearing a flurry of white your prunus mume Omoi-no-mama’?

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna. No I can’t see it from the house which is a pity. I am seriously thinking of turning my front garden into a winter/ spring garden though. Yes, that is ‘Omoi- na- mama,’ a truly fabulous tree.

  15. tonytomeo says:

    Spruce? Are spruce popular there? What species is that? A long time ago, I grew all of the North American spruce. Blue spruce is the only spruce in landscapes here, and even it is rare.

    • Chloris says:

      Spruce is picea isn’t it? I don’t have that. I have 2 conifers here, one is Abies koreana which I grow for its lovely cones which stand on the branches like candles. The other is Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’ which I grow because it goes a lovely bronzey red in winter. Oh. and I have a prostrate blue juniper.

  16. Brian Skeys says:

    It looks wonderful now Chloris, I can just imagine what a lovely spring woodland walk it will become as it matures.

  17. Caro says:

    I can see a lot of work has gone into your winter garden over the years – and it looks beautiful for it. I imagine it’s even better in sunshine, whenever that might happen!

  18. rusty duck says:

    It’s looking marvellous. I love all the brightly coloured bark through which equally exciting things can peep. When do you prune your dogwoods? I keep reading that I should have done it by now but I can’t bear to lose the colour!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jessica.I am thrilled with it. I agree you don’t want to lose the dog wood colour just when it is looking good. I get round it by only cutting the more mature branches out of the orange and red ones. The yellow one Cornus flaviramea is much more robust and I cut it all right back about now.

  19. snowbird says:

    I’m amazed at how mature everything looks. It’s absolutely lovely, I especially love the

  20. Looks more like spring to me. Lovely blooms, and that red bark!

  21. Beth says:

    Yes, by all measures, you’re in the middle of a glorious spring, Chloris. So glad you have such nice blooms at this time of year! Hope you get some warm, sunny days soon. Best, Beth

  22. Wow, Chloris! It looks amazing! I remember watching you create it, and it seems like only yesterday. It’s come on so well. I bet it smells as good as it looks, too!

  23. Catherine says:

    I would like to contribute to your 2014 post “Is the Garden an Art Form?” Is this still possible?

  24. Catherine says:

    Yes, gardening is an art form. Not all gardens are art and painting the garage is not art. Although most would agree that oil painting is an art form. The fact that gardens change does not disqualify them from being art. Ballet is considered art and there is little as ephemeral as a ballet performance. In gardening as in many art forms there are different styles. Some we may like, some not. Yet our preferences do not determine if it is art let alone if it is good art or not. Some argue that art can never be a useful thing. I do not agree. Some useful things are truly things of beauty.
    Art is the product of a creative act that appeals to one or more of the five senses (and I suppose to the heart and mind as well); in oil painting, vision; in music, hearing; in sculpture, touch and vision; in gastronomy, taste and smell. Gardening alone of all the arts appeals to all five senses. In addition, it does not merely exist in two dimensions as in painting nor in three dimensions as in sculpture and architecture but rather in four. It includes the dimension of time, of change. Gardening may be the highest form of art of all.
    Once at a museum information desk the attendant told me that the museum garden, which had been created by Russel Page, no less, was going to be torn out and was not art because it held art, statues. I told her that she did not realize what a treasure she had. Only later did I think that I should have said, ” he Parthenon held statues so I suppose it was not art”.
    To sum up, Sir Francis Bacon wrote in his essay “On Gardening”: “men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely: as if gardening were the greater perfection.”

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