2 June 2015


The bravery - to open our gardens in Winter!

But there's so much to see.  A garden reveals its soul, its core in Winter.

Gone are the glorious russet colours of Autumn that drape the trees.  Too early for the green explosion of Spring or the dazzling blooms of Summer.

The garden lies bare; each and every corner unclothed and visible to the eye.  Here is its skeleton.

Winter reveals the structure and design of a garden.  For without the distraction of foliage and blossoms, the architecture  is revealed.  The size and form of plants, their placement and relationship to each other and to their environment, becomes apparent.

Winter redefines the garden, revealing and extending boundaries that are hitherto hidden to the eye.  Hidden vistas come into view.  Paths and walls, steps and sculptures all become a part of the whole.

The minutiae in the garden are exposed.  The droplets of dew and the frozen puddles.  Moss on rocks and crevices.  The exquisite bark on the bare trees, and the long shadows that they cast in the winter sun.  The tiny birds bopping through the fallen leaves, still glowing with the colours of Autumn.

Rosemary Verey, the renowned British author and plantswoman, noted that:

"A garden in Winter is the absolute test of the true gardener".

The gardeners of Glenlyon have one special ingredient on their side; a cool temperate climate that is essential to some of the most beautiful winter plants.  The scarlet stems of Cornus Alba Sibirica, for example, the magnificent silhouette of the Japanese maples, the delicate blooms of the hellebores and the gentle scent of chimonanthus praecox.

Add to this the emerging bulbs of Spring, a backdrop of rolling green hills, rivers filled with winter rains and the blazing yellow of the winter flowering acacias and you have a picture of Paradise.

Ref: Rosemary Yerey (1988)  The Garden in Winter London Francis Lincoln Ltd 

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