Tactile seedheads, heady scent and delicate blooms create a picturesque and atmospheric garden in winter. By Louise Curley
Romantic gardens conjure up images of voluptuous roses and exuberant herbaceous borders at their summer peak, with plants spilling out onto paths, but there’s no reason why a garden can’t be imbued with a similar sense of romance in winter.
Wintery weather provides the perfect atmospheric canvas. Misty mornings dampen sound creating a serene stillness, and frozen raindrops dangle from colourful berries yet to be eaten by birds. The weak winter sunlight highlights the intricate silhouette of contorted hazel stems and a dusting of frost draws attention to the sculptural qualities of seedheads.
Winter sharpens the senses. The garden is stripped back to its bare bones which allows tiny details to come to the fore. Shots of red and orange from the last remaining rose hips stand out strikingly against leafless stems.
Whatever the season, a romantic garden needs bewitching blooms in a colour palette of soft pastels and muted tones. In winter look to winter-flowering trees such as Prunus autumnalis, with its exquisite dainty white blossom, shrubs such as viburnums and woodland bulbs to add colour and fragrance. Use the graceful silhouettes of deciduous trees and shrubs and the skeletal structures of seedheads and grasses to add delicate beauty.
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