I'm outside on THE day of the Winter Solstice, 2009, desperately searching for garden colour to photograph. I don't care how washed out the hue is - I'm craving the saturated pinks of summer and the reds of autumn. C'mon winter - show me a nice shade that isn't green...
Winter Greenery - Hebe, Pseudopanax, Phormium
I can find a few straggling roses - including a shifted Graham Thomas who has spent all his growing season in a sulk. What an individual! He's finally decided to produce some yellow flowers. The neighbouring pink and red toned Phormium (Jester) looks bright in the garden - but dull in my photographs. I could focus (literally) on the red rose hips on my rugosa roses. My striped rose Honorine de Brabant is half covered in hips, too - and there's a nearby Nandina, looking cute and rosy-cheeked. But these are dull colours.
Hello, Winter Solstice!
Hmm... What I really should be doing is focussing on reality. Hello, winter solstice! Welcome, overnight frosts, chilly rain, cold bluish light, on this the shortest gardening day of the year. Eight degrees Celsius, weak winter sun, brr...
But is the garden really quite as dull and dead colour-wise as I'm implying? No way! Of course there's a fair bit of burnished brown. But the winter greens are looking simply marvellous.
I grow a lot of Phormiums and Cordylines, and in winter they all grab my attention. The green flaxes in particular are looking healthy and fresh. Thank you, one and all!
My favourite hybrids Cream Delight and Yellow Wave, no matter what their names suggest, are great winter greens, and the species Phormium Cookianum flax looks fat and well-fed - just like the Moosey cat Fluff-Fluff who insists on hiding underneath.
Pretty Green Hebe
My Hebes are such quiet little performers, with pretty foliage - they are superb green texture shrubs. In winter a few varieties are actually flowering, but it's their green leaves that I'm enjoying.
My large green Carex grasses, which can be such pests in the wrong place and time, are filling the Shrubbery with great spiky interest. And even the Moosey house lawns look great at this time of the year - no browned off patches to detract from the eye.
So - look for one thing, find another. The winter greens have made my day. Yum!
Dog Asleep in the Wattle Woods