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Fantastic Winter Colour by Jarmanmurphy

As winter appears there is still so much colour to be seen in your garden and our surrounding landscape. At  jarmanmurphy we love this time of year as much as other times and as we design gardens, we always consider the seasons and include as much interest as we can throughout the year. Berries, bark, foliage and seeds can all help to brighten our gardens as the nights close in.

Of course, berries are the first thing we think of at this time of year, and our native holly, Ilex aquifolium, is probably the most loved of them all. There are even hollies with yellow berries or variegated leaves for extra zing. Other berried plants to look out for are the curious purple pips of Calicarpa, Nandina domestica which brings a hint of Japan to a sheltered corner, the large bobbling black fruits of Fatsia japonica and the waxy white berries of Sorbus cashmiriana that remain on the bare branches far into winter. And the list goes on…

One of our favourite trees, the British native Acer campestre, or field maple, quickly changes its foliage from a fresh green to the most buttery of yellows which catches the low sun and holds it on the horizon. Often seen in countryside hedges, we love to plant this tree in gardens as it is easily kept to size and has the most incredible corky bark as it ages. Who can fail to love the bright scarlet leaves of another of our native hedgerow shrubs, Euonymous europeaus, with its waxy magenta berries and orange seeds dangling on bare stems. It’s a real firecracker of a small tree and will bring a brilliant flash of colour to cheer even the dullest days.

Coming right down to ground level, the delicate autumn flowering crocus will create carpets of colour in dappled shade or sun and a favourite of ours is Colchicum speciosum. A soft purple petal with a yellow centre that catches the last of the autumn light and makes a colourful glow when planted and naturalised within a lawn.

A taller and more dramatic flower for a hot sunny spot is Nerine bowdennii or the Guernsey Lily. Its tall stems and curling petals are attention seeking to say the least - similar to an allium it looks like its exotic cousin. Glowing pink it stands proud and tall and brings a touch of the form to the autumn garden.

Clematis cirrhosa planted to scramble up into a tree looks at its best at this time of year. The nodding bell-shaped flowers scent the crisp winter air and shine out as the evergreen climber twines itself round bare branches or along wires trained across a wall.

For a shady, dry spot beneath trees, Cyclamen hederifolium will hold delicate nodding flowers above a cluster of white, veined leaves. A real gem of a plant that will come back every year to delight you, just as you may be thinking the flowers in the garden are over. Planted alongside Arum italicum subsp. ‘Marmaratum’, or Lords and Ladies, and Helleborus niger, these woodland edge favourites create a tapestry of colour throughout the winter months and will gently colonise and make patches of delicious textures where little else thrives.

Some plants in the Sitting Spiritually garden with colourful interest at this time of year are:

Silver stems of Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’

Russet hues of Amelanchier foliage

Purple foliage of Loropetalum chinense ‘Fire Dance’

Firey foliage of Geranium macrorrizum

Rose hips on Rosa rugosa and Rosa Alba

Acer campestre bark and foliage

Seed heads on perennials and grasses

Acer Palamatum 'Osakazuki'
Fruits & Foliage of Cratageus Prunifolia
Eunymous Alartus
Autumn Foliage of Amelanchier

The Sitting Spiritually Garden is also open to visit throughout the Winter months, please just call first to check someone is there: 01297 443084

With many thanks to Sarah Jarman & Anna Murphy

Jarmanmurphy Garden Design

sarah jarman +44 7872 972259
anna murphy +44 7812 086104

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Posted by Siobhan on November 25th 2019

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