I started writing a blog post, got a bit bored and checked out twitter instead. I wish, and you may also wish, I hadn’t. The social media we make for ourselves usually coincides with our work, our aspirations, people who make us laugh or make us think. So it should come as no surprise my twitter timeline is jam packed with horticulturalists and gardeners.
Over the last few weeks it’s been a visual assault, starting with the apparent need to make orange great again, closely followed by multiple pictures of purple plants. Then red plants and flowers got in on the action with a hashtag. Today apparently had to be cheered up because multiple photographs of a Summer Garden will stop us feeling Blue.
Enough now, please!
Gardening is seasonal, life is seasonal, so shouldn’t we take the now of life and celebrate it a bit more. The winter garden has subtlety and beauty that is all it’s own, you may have to look a little harder and plan a little smarter to benefit from it, but it’s there. Low winter light is a bit of a pain, in that it shows every mucky watermark on your windows, but it also picks out russets, golds, greens and silvers perfectly.
As a designer winter is a perfect time for planning and implementing a new garden. Yes we start to think about spring bulbs in September and right now in the depths of winter we are all about planning for summer bulbs. But it’s also the season for bare root hedging and perennials, soups, stews, root vegetables, winter woolies, waterproofs, open vistas between deciduous trees, guilt free biscuits hidden beneath layers (refer back to winter woolies) blue skies, frosts, rest and taking stock. Don’t wish away the year, revel in its uniqueness and look harder for its beauty if at first you can’t see it. For those that seek, the rewards are out there.
I’m rather ashamed to admit to missing #mygardenrightnow back in June, apologies to the rather marvellous Michelle of Malvern Meet and Vegplotting. I did have a garden, in actual fact I had two. One at home getting on with things, in a somewhat abandoned, wild and woolly fashion and one at RHS Chatsworth. That one being primped and cosseted with extreme care and tenderness to within an inch of its leaf.
My own garden right now resembles a twenty something clubber returning home in the dawn hours, slightly rough around the edges but still ready to party on.
Case in point with Lucifer gone to seed with the surrounding Symphyotrichum laeve about to come into its own and carry on partying into the Autumn.
The garden seats haven’t seen much use in recent months, but this somewhat neglected Clematis has taken advantage in the manner of the aforementioned slightly exhausted reveller.
Rosa glauca doing its Season of Mists and Mellow fruitfulness thing, with the thicket of Helliantus bringing up the rear. *Note to self a spring cull is in order
It may not be officially Autumn but the Persian Ironwood has its own ideas and dances to the beat of its own drum.
Aster divaricatus now Eurybia divaricata but if you like you can still call it a Wood Aster. I love this little plant it’s what’s known as a good doer, and as its common name will tell you it’s not averse to growing in a bit of shade.
Aster divaricata now Eurybia divaricata
We sourced this beauty for a client in Much Marcle, Hereford who was looking to add some interest to a shadier part of the garden. Shade loving plants have a tendency to be earlier flowering so to have something flowering in August and September is a great addition to a woodland border.
If you’re a neat freak you can cut it back in late autumn, however, I would urge you to leave it standing until it becomes too irritating to bear as the Goldfinches seem to rather enjoy the seeds.