What does winter offer today, I ask, as I set off on a walk with the dogs, and the answer comes: colours of the most amazing subtlety. Here then is a selection.
Setting the scene, the late sun through the Upper Rosemary Border shows up greens – pale and limey or dark; shades of grey; browns, mainly rich, even reddish; bleached straw; and the cold blue shadows.
This Leonitus ocynifolia has featured before, in summer and in winter – interestingly in a much more colourful post after rain, exactly two years ago. Today it is the contrast between the shaded background and sunlit foreground which intrigues me.
The bench at the top end of the Makou Dam will feature a few times now.
Here it is again across the water.
I had never thought of pearl as a winter colour before.
I love the reflection of the winter trees showing up the twigs.
Looking back from the furthest end of the Beech Axis – in summer these hydrangeas are brilliant blue. The strong contrast in the light turns the Beech Borders into a featureless abstract where even I, who know what I’m looking at, can recognise little.
But I do find this feature, one of the simplest in my gardens, very effective no matter the season or the light. Yet, to my surprise I find I don’t have a single good post on it where one can see the effect of the design in summer. There are so-so pics hidden in long posts here.
This is a view I’ve not shared before. Were it not that I’m tiring of the blue light, I would rather like this shot. It is taken in the woodland around the overflow of Freddie’s Dam. At the end of this stretch there is a little bridge before the path splits and curves.
Just above the bridge the water cascades into a pool, and from there the course is relatively level as it returns to the bottom of the valley.
A touch more colour at last, but the frost-bleached heads of the hydrangeas really do not photograph well in the cold blue light.
I love the steps that lead up from the curved bridge over the outlet at Freddie’s Dam in their sombre winter garb.
All over the garden piles of brushwood await mulching, and we have yet to do this year’s pruning… I need to arrange the mulching soon!
For several years now the view of The House that Jack Built from the Carpet Garden has been obscured by the red Japanese Maple. This winter we will lift the canopy, so that the reflection at least is visible from here.
A cornucopia of compost… except that it is not compost, but leafmould. Last year’s supply has been moved out and awaits distribution, whilst the yellow leaves of the snake-bark maple continued to fall once the clearing and gathering had been done.
A silver-green twig, fallen from a Mexican Oak – Quercus mexicana.
The darkest of our Japanese Maples, and beyond it the fallen leaves of a Swamp Cypress colour the ground.
The autumn colours drained away, the Red Plane still contributes to the winter palette.
And a last shaft of sunlight falls across a carpet of oak leaves
This bench looks across Quercus Corner, my dad’s collection of oak trees at the furthest end of the garden.
Nearby is another feature I don’t think I’ve ever commented on: an unusual asymmetrical cone formed with Abelia hedges marks the entrance to the Old Fountain Garden which lies between Quercus Corner and the lowest of the plantations.
A cottage across a meadow…
And to conclude – a photo that sums up the topic rather well: winter palette