Do you find at this time of year your garden looks a bit tired or lacks interest? Does the garden become a wasted space until spring? Here are my top 5 ideas for adding winter interest so your garden is a beautiful place all year round:
As the leaves fall are you left with a lack of greenery? Think about adding some evergreens that will add structure through the seasons. Box (Buxus) balls are a popular choice, although with the current issues with box caterpillar and blight, I would suggest an alternative like Hebe rakaiensis (pictured left). Sarcococca (sweet box), Daphne Odora and Osmanthus burkwoodii (pictured right) are also wonderful for winter flowers and scent.
Think about trees or shrubs with interesting stem colours that will light up in the winter sun. A favourite of mine is Cornus sanguinea (pictured left) which leaves stunning red stems when its leaves fall in autumn.Or a small tree, such as Betula utilis “Jacquemontii” (pictured middle) with its bright white bark, or Prunus serrula (pictured right) for shiny red, looks fantastic all year round.
Plant flowers that look great into the autumn,and then bulbs to take you through to spring. Asters are great for autumn flower colour - I love Symphyotrichum 'Little Carlow' (pictured left) which flowers from August right through till the end of October. An early winter flowering Crocus and a late winter flowering iris such as Iris reticulata will see you though to spring.
You could go for “prairie” planting, with naturalistic, low maintenance flowers and grasses that look gorgeous from summer right through to spring – just cut back once a year in March. This is one of my favourite types of planting; as the flowers fade they leave wonderful seedheads which with the grasses look stunning in winter. The seedheads are great food for birds too.
Why not add a sheltered seating area with a fire pit so you can sit and enjoy your garden in the winter too? You can use a combination of all the ideas above to create a garden that looks beautiful all year round.Now is a great time to plan a new garden and trees are dormant in winter, so it is the best time to plant them. If you’d like some ideas for planting with year-round interest or to discuss a design for your garden, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org