A Paler Shade of Winter

 So pretty.
WInter Rosemary Flowers

Hands up - who likes seeing pictures of gardens in winter? I know the English books love their 'frost on seed-heads of huge Miscanthus grasses behind row of shivering box-balls' photographs. Brr... This type of garden scene has me grabbing an extra rug and sinking further into the TV couch. It doesn't inspire me to do any winter gardening, that's for sure.

But neither is it good seasonal sense to flick through magazines full of garish summer flowers. What's out there in winter reality should inspire me to go outside and join it. And I should photograph it with pride.

Moderate Winter Weather

My winter garden is supposed to be visible (snow shouldn't last more than a few days) and subtle - greens, browns, dull greens, dull browns, and so on. My winter weather is inevitably moderate - the sky is often blue, even if a bit pale. The coloured Phormium hybrids should provide some warm pinks, creams, and reds to drool over. And I do grow shrubs which flower in winter, like Ericas.

 Viburnum tinus
Winter Flowering Viburnum

As a winter garden photographer I'm sadly obsessed with flower colours. I ooh and aah over some silly mid-winter rose, blooming like there's no tomorrow. I press the camera up close against its (usually) scruffy petals.

 This rose flowers right into winter.
Golden Tribute Rose

The garden borders look rather bare, so they get missed out. If any photographs of winter greenery tend the slightest to winter 'blue-ery', well that's easily fixed - thanks, Photoshop! I take very few pictures of definitive winter colour - dead, brown fern fronds, dull green tree-scapes, cold grey-blue frosty lawns, and so on. Brr...

 Just beautiful.
Winter Flowers -Polyanthus

Thanks, Polyanthus

And to all the little polyanthus plants which I've crammed into every possible spare pot - thank you so much for being so bright. The word 'artificial' shouldn't really spring to mind, but...

After the winter solstice all sorts of tiny bursts of colour can be seen - if I'm looking carefully. The Viburnum tinus shrubs are in flower now, with clusters of tiny pink and creamy white stars.

Then There's Rosemary...

In my garden Rosemary is treated as tough old-school filler, nice for the bees and easy to lose if this is its fate. When I stop to look at the little blue flowers I'm humbled. They are just beautiful, and often bluer than the pale winter skies! Mind you, frost can look a bit blue...

 A brown Pseudopanax and a green Escallonia.
Frosty Leaves

Anyway, if my camera and I need a bright winter colour fix, I can always resort to photographing rose labels. I have several new David Austins whose colours look potentially gorgeous. And then there are the cats, and the garden gnomes. Enough said. Frost on seed-heads of huge Miscanthus grasses, anyone?