When you think of Christmas perhaps the garden is not foremost in your mind, but here at The Cheshire Garden we believe that a well-designed garden is one that can be enjoyed all year round. Whether you wish simply to admire the garden from the warmth of your home, or to forage for rustic features to include in hand-crafted Christmas decorations, the key is planning ahead.
As the explosion of Autumn colour gives way to leaf fall and faded flowers the bones of a garden are revealed, and it is at this point in particular that structure is of vital importance in a high-quality garden design. Good Winter structure is achieved through careful consideration of the shapes and forms provided by both landscaping elements and the selection of suitable plants, whether for a large country garden, modest suburban garden or tiny city space.
Structural planting will often involve the use of trees and shrubs which maintain a permanent and attractive form throughout the seasons. As well as contributing to the architectural composition of a garden design, carefully chosen trees and shrubs can also deliver stunning Winter interest with beautiful bark such as the ghostly white of Betulis utilis var. jacquemontii, or the brightly coloured stems of Dogwoods and Willows. This can be complemented by including a range of evergreen planting such as conifers and Christmas favourites the Holly and the Ivy which provide year-round interest, particularly where they have eye-catching variegated foliage.
Winter fragrance is achievable with shrubs such as Sarcococca hookeriana, the aptly dubbed ‘Christmas Box’, which exudes an intoxicating scent across the garden. Or why not position containers of clipped Bay by the front door to greet guests with a modern and aromatic feature? Leaving pruning tasks until late Winter allows the jewels of Winter berries to form on shrubs, and the sculptural forms of grasses and perennial flowers to stand and deliver in the low Winter light of frosty mornings. Taking this low maintenance approach in an informal garden not only looks great in Winter but saves you time and benefits wildlife too!
As the shortest day approaches and light dwindles evermore garden lighting can really come into its own. A garden designer can ensure that key features such as trees or sculptures continue to provide pleasure when viewed from the comfort of your living room, even after dark, by the inclusion of well selected lighting. Of course, strings of seasonal lights can also be woven through trees and shrubs or draped around entrances welcoming Christmas visitors to your home as the festivities get into full swing.
Having planned ahead to include planting which provides rich Winter interest, the garden can then supply an ample source of material for the creation of authentic and captivating Christmas decorations. Whether it’s a wreath for the front door, a garland for the fireplace or a table display, the foliage, colourful stems, bright berries and pine cones which adorn your outdoor space can be brought inside to fashion a striking display and get your guests talking.
If you want to make the most of your garden all year round, why not start 2019 by booking a consultation with The Cheshire Garden? We deliver a professional and personalised service and believe that by working closely with our clients we can ensure that they get the garden of their dreams.
In the meantime, may we wish you a Very Merry Christmas!
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