A Garden in Winter

A garden in winter is not quite the same as a winter garden – one that has been deliberately planted with winter-flowering shrubs – but it does not have to be devoid of character. A garden in winter is calming; the colour scheme has changed, bereft of colour, bleached and faded this is when fascinating shapes and forms come to the fore with layers of textured interest. Do not be too quick to cut back those grasses and perennials.


In an increasingly frenetic world we all need a space where we can recover our equilibrium, more so over the past 12 months where so much in our lives is uncertain and unknown. A garden, no matter how small, can often provide that connection with nature. Simply getting your hands into the soil and watching something grow can often provide that sanctuary. Being in nature enriches us, grounds us, reminds us of our place in the world.

Oak leaves still hanging on

Even during the winter months we can find solace in admiring the skeletal outlines of seed-heads, the calming symmetry of formal planting or the relaxing nature of wild planting. Greens will be soothing, leaf shapes with contrasting shapes will provide textures. Trees with their bare limbs will provide structure.

Davidia involucrata, the dove-tree fruits

A garden in winter is still a garden. Enjoy it.


  1. Leya says:

    Beautiful post, Jude. True words of true meaning too. Love the bare gardens and seed heads.

  2. Beautiful photos this morning! I intended to get out and photograph skies, and landscapes and foliage and here I sit, while it pours AGAIN!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s not a day for going out here either 💦

  3. You beautifully captured what I call simple beauty … and there is plenty of beauty like this to be found by those who take time to look. Thanks for looking and sharing.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Frank.

  4. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Beautiful photos, lovely inspiring words, and wonderful comments. A Garden in Winter is also an apt metaphor for old age 🙂

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    Beautiful – I enjoyed the words as well as the photographs. The image of the teasels has a lovely feel – I can just imagine what it would be like to be there in the chilly evening air.

  6. rusty duck says:

    Ooooh, the Davidia. Mine has never bloomed, much less produced fruit. It has been moved too often for its liking sadly, three houses to date. But every year I wait in hope.
    Hope and gardens go hand in hand.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are lovely trees, not sure where this one was, one of the NT gardens I imagine.

  7. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Lovely images and words. A garden is definitely for all seasons

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely post Jude. I’m a recent (and still zealous) convert to gardening and this says beautifully exactly how I feel. Though we don’t really have the same dying off in winter here; in fact, last year that’s when my garden was most productive

    1. Heyjude says:

      My garden has a lot of green plants in it still. Though it has been unusually cold for this part of the country this week so I fear some plants will be killed off. Hoping lots of the S&S have been too!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Hope your plants have survived. Not so much the s&s 😉

  9. True! Here there’s always something growing even in the depths of winter. I never cut the hydrangea flower heads off. They are the most lovely colours when they’re dry.

  10. Beautiful photos of interesting wintering plants. I love the colour of the hanging on oak leaves and the silhouettes of the cherries. Lovely post. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, the oak leaves (and beech) are lovely.

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