The Bare Bones of Winter

11 Feb

We all know what we’re supposed to do to provide winter structure in our gardens –

1. Place evergreen topiary


2. Use box hedging


3. Add garden structures


But for those of us without a stately home with room for ancient yews, miles of crisp box hedging or a thatched summer house what can we learn ?

I visited two National Trust gardens today – Baddsley Clinton and Packwood House. It was a very grey and overcast day. Not the kind of day most garden photographers venture out on – they prefer hard frosts and snow. But this is exactly the kind of day when we all think our gardens look pretty grim so it’s good to see that there’s plenty of ways you can make your garden look good at this time of year.

It really does pay to get the basics right.

A beautifully straight edge really draws the eye.


Simple beds cut into the lawn looks striking even unplanted.


Mulched and weeded, even beds that rely heavily on perennials can look good and full of promise for what’s to come.


Evergreen doesn’t have to mean green – these grasses ( carex testacea ) are evergreen and contrast beautifully with the green evergreens.


Carefully pruned wall shrubs provide a lovely contrast against old brick walls.






The general emptiness of the garden at this time of year allows you to spot details that would be missed in the full exuberance of mid summer.

Very tentative signs of spring are peeping through.




Other details come to the fore too.





2 Responses to “The Bare Bones of Winter”

  1. Penny Padovani February 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Lovely photographs Emma, love that dry wood curly one against the red brick in particular. Is it wysteria?
    They all look so neat and tidy though, mine is so overgrown and I am afraid to cut back too much as I am sure we will get further cold snaps, if not even snow, we had a thick layer last week.

    • Emma Webber February 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks penny ! Yes it is wisteria – grown for its winter structure rather than its flowers. No rush to cut back – wait till its a bit warmer !!!

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