Six on Saturday. Twigs, Bark and Leaves in the Winter Garden.

We have had some beautiful January sun this week which cheers the spirits and lights up the foliage and coloured stems in the winter garden. The trees I planted down here are now mature enough to make a show.

This is one of my favourite birches. It is Betula albosinensis ‘Pink Champagne’. You can see a bit of the pinkish tinged bark to the left of the tree. It is so beautiful I feel I ought to make something out of it; maybe wrap it round a jam jar for winter arrangements.

The conifer to the left is one of my favourites, it is Abies koreana. Now it is mature it has upright cones which look like candles .

Abies koreana

I also have Cryptomeria elegans which usually looks wonderful in winter as it turns a lovely bronze colour. This year it has been so mild that it has stayed green.

Cryptomeria elegans on the left.

Of course coloured stems are an important part of the winter garden. The red stems behind the Abies koreana belong to Acer conspicuum ‘Red Flamingo’, this wonderful tree looks good all year round. In summer it has pink, green and white variegated leaves.

Acer conspicuum ‘Pink Flamingo’

Another acer with fabulous winter stems is Acer ‘Bi Hoo” this is planted in the newest part of the winter garden which isn’t mature yet. I have planted Box along the stepping stone path which will eventually be trimmed into a round shape so they look like snowballs if we get any snow.

Acer palmatum ‘Bi Hoo’

Cornus stems are vital for the winter garden, I have them in black, golden-green, red and orange. Here is my newest cornus, it is even brighter than ‘Winter Fire’, it is called Cornus ‘Anny’s Winter Orange’.

Cornus ‘Anny’s Winter Orange’

Prunus serrula should be in every winter garden, it has such lovely shiny bark which peels off in ribbons as it matures. I grow it with the matching brown Muehlenbeckia astonii which looks like copper wire netting. Behind you can see green and red dogwoods.

Prunus serrula with Muehlenbergia astonii

I think I have reached my six which is a shame as there is so much else looking good in the winter garden and whilst we are talking about leaves I am going to have to include a sneaky number seven which is too good to miss out. I was never very good at either keeping rules or counting. This little shrub looks wonderful all year round. It is called Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Magic Dragon’.

Lophomyrtus ‘Magic Dragon’

We’ll be going back to the winter garden again soon, I am so pleased with it and each day there is more to look at down here. I have just checked some early photos and I realise that I started this seven years ago, it seems like yesterday. I have gradually made it bigger over the course of the last few years and I have gobbled up all the lawn down here.

Here are a few photos of how it started and developed. I started seven years ago by digging up the turf, I must have been mad. Here it is dug over and waiting for some manure to be spread.

All this lawn disappeared in 2019. No more digging though, I just covered it up with a membrane.

Now the lawn has all gone and there is a gravel path through the winter garden. Winter goes on for a long time, it is worth creating something lovely to keep you going through the murkiest months. Anyway, I seem to be digressing so much that it is a bit cheeky to call this Six on Saturday, nevertheless this is what it is, give or take a plant or two. I need some discipline or I would keep you here all day whilst I showed you every plant in my lovely winter garden. As it is some of them will have to wait for next time. I haven’t even started on the snowdrops.

With thanks to our host, The Propagator and apologies for bending the rules yet again.

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22 Responses to Six on Saturday. Twigs, Bark and Leaves in the Winter Garden.

  1. Lots of lovely bark and stems – it’s nice to see a winter garden

  2. You have done really well with your winter color. I love the Magic Dragon, such a pretty color in the winter.

  3. fredgardener says:

    Very nice overview of beautiful trees, barks with pretty winter colours. My favourite is the prunus serrula and its peeling bark

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, everyone is drawn to the lovely bark of Prunus serrula. I have seen it polished, but I prefer to have all the tattery bits peeling off it, they are part of its charm.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Do the maples that provide colorful twigs eventually need to be pollarded or coppiced to continue providing colorful twigs? The only maple that provides colorful twigs here is the Sango Kaku Japanese maple, which is not very impressive. The twigs would be more colorful with pollarding, but no one does that here. Although somewhat shabby and yellowish, the tree is rather pretty without colorful twigs, in its natural form.

  5. It is amazing to look back – the garden looks wonderful and I enjoyed the view! The Japanese Maple is spectacular…

  6. Kris P says:

    I enjoyed seeing your Winter Garden, which I can’t recall you previously showing in any detail. I love Abies koreana, which my western garden guide claims I can grow. I’m tempted but I’m not sure how it’d look with my burgeoning collection of succulents. Lophomyrtus is listed too but it may require too much water to survive here.

    • Chloris says:

      Abies koreana is fabulous but it may not look so good growing alongside succulents. Lophomyrtus is not supposed to be reliably hardy here but mine flourishes. I’m not sure how much water it requires.

  7. A most beautiful birch Chloris and what an excellent idea to perhaps make use of the bark. You have given me food for thought 🤣

  8. Pauline says:

    When we visited the Roman Fort, Vindilandra by Hadrians Wall, we saw that the romans wrote their shopping lists on Birch bark…just a thought! You have a fantastic selection and hasn’t your winter garden come on since you first told us about it. You have reminded me that I must go and polish my Prunus serrula!

    • Chloris says:

      Well, there is a thought. People will stare in the supermatket if I produce a shopping list written on bark. Yes, my winter garden has come on, it gives me so much pleasure.

  9. Noelle says:

    Your winter garden is a gem, and those attractive plants lighten up the darker days. I enjoyed the extras and the pictures of when you used more of the lawn area to enlarge and plant more.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, winter goes on for such a long time that I think it is worth setting aside a large part of the garden for it and it looks fabulous in the spring as well.

  10. snowbird says:

    I can’t believe this was started seven years ago, where is time going? It’s all looking absolutely gorgeous. How it’s grown and matured.xxx

    • Chloris says:

      I know, I feel as if I only just started the winter garden. Having the blog is a useful record of when everything was done, otherwise I would never remember.

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