Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Winter Colour

Winter colour could be just white all winter long if you live in an area where there is snow for most of the winter months. And if you've made sure that there are enough visually interesting shapes in all sizes to be covered in snow, your garden will look great all winter long.
Earlier this year I went for a walk in my village to see what winter colour other gardeners had provided for their gardens. This is what I saw last January:
Colourful Brassica's in white and pink. They are edible but taste rather bitter.
Red dogwood (Cornus alba spp.) with an underplanting of Gaultheria procumbens. I like how the red of the stems, leaves and berries echo the red of the brick wall. Gaultheria is acid loving, great for ground cover ( rabbits don't eat it ) and the birds don't like the berries so they stay on for quite awhile.
Viburnum tinus, with an under planting of boxwood.
A close up of Viburnum tinus.
Heather (Erica)
And here another Viburnum, very different from the first one. This is Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' which flowers on bare wood and its pretty pink flowers are scented. There is also a white flowering one Viburnum x bodnantense 'Deben'.
Close up of Dawn.
Bergenia cordifolia with beautiful purple red leaves, looking great against that green hedge.

And how is the Bliss garden doing for winter colour? Pretty well, I should say, thank you for asking. ;-)
This is how my part of my front garden looked quite recently after 4 inches of snow had fallen and this is how it looks at this time of year without snow:
Stripped down to its bare bones the front garden is still visually interesting because of the strong lines of the boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and Berberis thunbergii Atropurpurea hedges. Colour is provided by the box and conifer hedges giving us lots of green during winter, some of the box beds are stuffed with white lavender (Lavandula intermedia 'Alba') which adds a lovely silvery grey to the winter palette and the Berberis hedging provides us with a splash of purplish red.
An added bonus are its bright red berries.
In the back garden a hedge of Fagus sylvatica around the potager is stealing the show at the mo. Fagus is great as a hedge; it's green in spring and summer, then it changes into a pretty mosaic of green, yellow and brown in autumn, and
finally its leaves turn completely brown and they stay on during winter. In the Bliss garden the fagus hedges looks pretty good against a backdrop of evergreen hedges and green lawn.

What would the winter garden be without a splash of colour? Here lots of violets and pansies (Viola) are dotted about in pots and hanging baskets all over the garden to cheer the winter gardener up with their colourful, happy, smiling faces. Who would want to do without pretty winter violets at this time of year? Not me, that's for sure.
copyright 2008: Y.E.W. Heuzen


guild-rez said...

wish you a wonderful Christmas season.
Thank you for all your lovely garden, cat and the new cute puppy pictures. Hope to see many more;)
- Cheers from Canada.
"From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
- Katherine S. White

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I see more color and form in my minds eye than in the garden. Here even pansies are melted to the ground with cold. I love seeing your box and other ever greens covered with snow.

Sylvia (England) said...

Snow really changes the garden Yolanda. I would love to see what mine looks like but we rarely get snow and when we do it doesn't last long. I get to see very little of my garden this time of the year - it is dark when I get home, though just light as I leave in the morning. Still I love the weekends!

I do like your front garden, it is a really nice design - well done. And your beach hedge and your - when all your garden. Thank you for sharing.

best wishes Sylvia (England)
PS I have a guest post on www.tulipsinthewoods.com please visit.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hello dear Yolanda, do you have now? My snow is gone :-( it all rained away, I have +6 C. grrrr I don't like that at all. Your pictures with the snow powdered buxus are so pretty. I wish you a great week kiss and hug darling Tara from me. xoxo Tyra

Frances said...

Hi YE, masterful plantings for year around interest! Even without the magic of the snow blanket, your gardens are coffe table book material! The barberries are on the invasive list here, but I have a large stand of them in front for privacy from the close house next door and the birds love to hide in there and eat the berries. Your hedges are so neat, I love the whole look of your garden, well done!

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda :-)

Yes, I love to see the bare bones of the garden too especially in the winter months and your garden has great structure by the barrowfull ;-)

Thanks for sharing all your other winter colour pics too. I do love the red of your berberis hedge and the warm brown tones of your beech hedge too. Lovely, lovely :-D

Gail said...

Lovely YE. Snow is foreign to us most winters, maybe a dusting but that means we need plenty of winter interest...which I am presently working on! I love gaultheria and were it not an acid loving plant would have it here; it makes a lovely ground cover in woodland gardens. The fagus hedge is very attractive and a great idea for fencing the potager. Everything looks lovely in your garden world. Gail

nancybond said...

Your back garden hedge is lovely, growing up over that archway. Sometimes the stark neutrals of the garden after a snowfall are just as beautiful as any riotous colour. :)

Cat in the Foxgloves said...

How beautiful! I can't wait for spring to get started on my garden...I've already begun plans on paper.

easygardener said...

I do like the Fagus hedge - such lovely colours. As you say snow accentuates the bones of a garden and yours is looking very attractive.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I think it's wonderful that you still have so much color in the garden once the snow has melted.

You asked about the sparrows here. For some reason they are abundant and quite troublesome. They are very aggressive in their nesting habits and are diminishing our bluebird population.

Mother Nature's Garden said...

You have such wonderful winter interest. I must plant some Bergenia in my garden.

Shady Gardener said...

Thank you for visiting. I'd like to know more about your Winter season, as it looks as though your plants and flowers are usually blooming?
I'm in a spot where snow is the norm most of the Winter. Sometimes it's warm enough to make snowmen :-) but more often it's too cold.

Elke said...

Das sind schöne Gartenbilder, egal ob winterweiß oder in Farbe. Den rosa Schneeball Viburnum "Dawn" habe ich mir nächstes Jahr mal auf meine Wunschliste gesetzt.
Liebe Grüße und eine schöne Adventszeit

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda the structure of the boxwoods in your garden give a wonderland look covered with a light dusting of snow.
Here we have had rains that melt the snow and my word is colorless.Good thing I have my photos to illuminate my spirit. stay warm. ^.^ NG

Cheryl said...

Everything looks good in the garden Yolanda....I love the hedges, they work well.
We all need colour......and violas make the perfect choice.......

How is little Tara......

Weeping Sore said...

Your garden is lovely! I like the way you mix the foliage colors to play against each other. Flowers are gorgeous, but so briefly present. In particular, the red-leaved varieties make for more interesting and longer-lived colors in your well-kept gardens.

Blossom said...

I love those brassicas - they look like great big roses!

Gemel said...

Your garden is divine, I can't wait to see it in spring......

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Oh! Your hedging (all of it) is just gorgeous!!!!! I love it! And those pretty violas... that's my favorite flower for winter.


Flighty said...

It's surprising just how much colour can be seen at this time of year.
A covering of snow really makes it all look so very different! xx

stadtgarten said...

Your garden still looks so colourful! But I must say, it also looks beautiful in snow!
Have a good Advent Season, groetjes, Monika

marga said...

Mooie sneeuwfoto's alleen jammer dat de sneeuw al weer zo snel weg was.
Fijn weekend

VP said...

Lovely Yolanda.

Have a great weekend!

Rusty in Miami said...

I like to experience snow once a year on a holiday, but that’s as much as I can take
The hedge is spectacular

Karin A said...

Yolanda, I love thos snowy pictures. The Bliss garden is so nice covered in snow. :) But the flowers are beautiful too of course. Would love to have a Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'. Saw one flowering the other day.

Have a nice weekend! Kram Karin

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I can't believe how much snow you got! (BTW,Tara looked adorable in it.) I thought it didn't snow in The Netherlands anymore. ;-)
When there is no snow, your garden is quite colorful. I particularly like the Beech hedge. It has such great texture.

Matron said...

What beautiful Winter colours. I just love those ornamental cabbages!

marl1 said...

Je woont in een bezienswaardige buurt..;-))
Mooi gezicht die schoenlapper in de zon!

Alles goed met Taartje?? (is nog pup, dus dan kan het nog:-))

HappyMouffetard said...

Beautiful colours. Today I saw my garden in the light for the first time in 17 days and was delighted to see that I too had Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' in flower - it does the heart good to see blooms in midwinter.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Crikey - 30 comments!
Fabulous colours - both in this post and the previous one about bulbs, your
Fagus is looking very good.

The Garden Faerie said...

Wait, what? You saw flowering viburnum in *January*? Now, I know Holland is moderate and mild compared to Michigan (and I visited in March once!), but wow!
~ Monica