We are now into Autumn and our Liquidambar is aflame. The acers are colouring up and in the street the great London Planes are dropping their leaves. So full is their leaf cover that they come every week to sweep up the fallen leaves that carpet the pavement.
We stash the aloes and cacti and agave in the garage to over-winter them dry but light and frost proofed and put our less hardy plants under cover of netting or hessian to protect them as according to Lord Byron the English winter has already commenced – he claimed it started in August and it is already November!
An important part in the winter landscape is played by the dead grasses and other herbaceous plants… Wreathed in snow or encased in ice they present a singularly graceful and fantastic appearance [Mrs William Starr Dana]
Beverley Nichols wrote: Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens and then are prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure that a garden doesn’t like to be ignored like this… Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance.
Our garden has much to offer in the winter. The clematis flower bravely against the cold and the early bulbs poke their heads up in January. The frost and the snow offer wonderful vistas for photography as my husband’s photos regularly show. The crisp outlines of branches and grass heads against the grey skies or very blue/white skies of frosty days are stunning in their architectural forms.
So don’t forget your garden in the winter. Don’t cover it with dustsheets and wait for the spring in front of the cosy fire, in your favourite armchair, with the seed catalogues. Go out there and enjoy the different atmosphere – with gloves, boots, and scarf and hat it’s true but still with eyes that see the wonder.