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The Winter Months Newsletter

 The Gravel Garden   Even during the winter months the Gravel Garden is a tapestry of shapes and textures. The dark seed heads of Sedum and Verbena bonariensis are left standing among green, silver and gold foliage. Buff and straw   coloured grasses catch the pale winter sunlight, and carpets of thyme and Lamb’s ears line the gravel paths,   along with sweeping patches of glossy Bergenia leaves, in shades of burgundy, maroon and purplish-red.   

 

The Water Garden   The tall, cone-shaped silhouettes of Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood) and Taxodium (Swamp Cypress) greet the   visitors entering the Water Garden. The two giant Gunnera have been ‘tucked in’ for the winter and most of the   perennials will be cut down before Christmas. On either bank of the first pond the bright red and olive-green   stems of Cornus (Dogwood) and orange Salix alba ‘Britzensis’ (Willow) immediately draw the eye and provide   colour throughout the winter. At the far end, a thicket of Rubus cockburnianus (Ghost bramble) reveal their   white-washed arching stems, after having shed their  leaves in early December.   

 

The Woodland Garden   On mild, still, winter days the air at the entrance of the Woodland Garden is filled with a sweet scent, coming   from the two Sarcococca, on either side of the path. Sarcococca confusa (Sweet Box) and Sarcococca   hookeriana var. digyna (Christmas Box).  Both have glossy, evergreen foliage and small, white, tassel-like   fragrant flowers. One or two small twigs in a vase can be enough to fill a room with scent, and the foliage is   superb as a ‘filler’ in floral displays. Nearby, a group of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ seems to glow,   even on the dullest day. This striking selection of European common dogwood has yellow stems flushed with   coral-red, and slowly spreads by suckering shoots. Like other dogwoods grown for their beautifully coloured   stems, they benefit from pruning in late winter/early spring, as it is the new shoots that provide the best winter colour.

The Winter Months Newsletter

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