Going into winter, what will there be to look at in the garden?
If a garden is mainly herbaceous perennials then frankly there won’t be much above ground other than what’s left on the plants from summer growth. Untidy dead and dying top growth epitomises for me the cottage garden style–useful for wildlife in every way and lovely to see. Some might say it risks diseases but we make our choice.
Most gardens have a mixture of perennials, shrubs and trees. Shrubs are great for structure, wildlife protection, winter scent and looking beautiful in frost, dew, rain or snow. One of my priorities in winter is to have scent as I walk down the front path, so I have osmanthus, sarcococca, winter flowering honeysuckle and mahonia. Any one of these will fill a small garden with scent, and all four will provide it from Autumn to Spring.
My main way of providing colour through the winter is using furniture and pots. Terracotta pots are my main colour and I’ve found a parasol the same shade. I have a mixture of chairs in reds, oranges and purples and a few stay out all year as focal points. My trugs are red and purple, an old watering can is a faded purple and my hoses are orange. Individually each is small but put all this together and it means I have splashes of colour to look out on all year including winter.
An easy start would be a bistro table and two chairs. It makes such a difference.