|So often our design inspiration comes from Nature itself|
|The captivating seed heads of papyrus|
|One day our 'Niobe' weeping willow will look this good!|
The branching structure of deciduous trees only becomes apparent when the leaves have fallen, revealing the intricate lacework previously hidden from view. To see this to advantage the backdrop needs to be clean and uncluttered, such as against a clear sky. This is especially important for weeping trees where the form is as important an element as the branching pattern itself. Weeping silver leaf pear (Pyrus salicifolia ‘pendula’), cherry (Prunus sp.), and European birch (Betula pendula) are a just a few of the possibilities offering four season focal points in the garden. They lend a grace to the landscape that few other plants can. Weeping willows (Salix babylonica and hybrids) can be seen swaying gently in the breeze and the form ‘Niobe’ (Salix alba ‘Tristis’) is especially eye catching with its bright yellow bark and branches. Ours marks the entrance to a meadow and although still young (and frequently nibbled by deer) gives us a glimpse of the mature silhouette to come.
|The tiered structure of the wedding |
cake tree will be shown to great
effect in winter
Photo credit; Heronswood
|A magnificent display of 'Arctic fire' dogwood against|
a winter sky and conifers. Stunning.
Photo credit; thisoldhouse.com
|The bark of the Himalayan white birch|
almost looks too perfect to be real
Photo credit; hgtv.com
Even more striking in this regard is the white Himalayan birch (Betula utilis jacquemontii) , another four season tree providing bright green foliage which whispers in the slightest breeze, yellow fall color and pristine white bark throughout the winter. Where space is available a group of these is especially effective or for smaller gardens a single multi-trunked specimen offers a similar effect. The river birch (Betula nigra) may be a better choice where birch borer infestations have become prevalent. These have peeling, salmon colored bark, with the variety ‘Heritage’ being the most ornamental. Like all birch, these tolerate wet soils and look perfectly at home adjacent to water features.
|The upright feather reed grass 'Karl Foerster' acts as a|
border, perfectly framing our view of the winter landscape.
Photo credit; flower-gardening-made-easy.com
|The perfect winter garden; evergreens,|
interesting branching forms of
deciduous trees, vertical grasses and red
twig dogwood shrubs work together
to create a winter wonderland.
Photo credit; knechts.net
So although winter gardens rely heavily on a combination evergreens, berries and cold hardy flowers consider adding a further layer of interest by adding some of these suggestions.
Don’t you just love it when I give you an excuse to go shopping? Many of these plants are on sale in winter too!