Walk in the Winter Garden with STEMS, BARKS & BULBS
The Winter Garden at Stevington is a wonderful surprise of colourful stems, stands of gleaming white birches, intricate patterns on the eucalyptus trunks, large sweeps of burnished grasses, seedheads, and last but not least, the winter bulbs. Though I have to admit that badgers or something has diminshed my snowdrops in the winter walk.
There are cheery banks of aconites in the cottage garden and all beneath the lime trees where the boundary views look down over the Ouse meadows. Snowdrops line the snaking path in the Winter Walk with doubles and singles to greet the visitor like miniature beacons, lighting the way. They are joined by winter aconites and golden daffodils, both creating pools of colour from mid February and beyond.
We created this Winter Walk seven years ago with coloured cornus stems on one side (Cornus Winter Fire clearly earns its name!) and scented viburnums and sarcococca on the other. Up above, the filigree effect of weeping birches creates a wonderful silhouette against the winter sky, while twisted willow also plays its part.
In low winter sunlight each of these plants plays a special role with glistening red, salmon pink, green and purple stems. Hellebores, sedums and London pride provide evergreen anchor plants. Ark-Glass Lightcatchers add further to the scene; brilliantly coloured, exquisite in rain or sunshine. This is a maturing garden, dynamic in its format, with an interesting use of plant material and strong sense of season.
Elsewhere we have amazing barks, with various types of Eucalyptus and super white stemmed birches including Betula utilis var jaquemontii both forming avenues. The birches are backed by silvery white pampass whose plumes create a magical pattern between the birches. Another stand of white stemmed birches act as a welcome party on entering the drive, leading on to major planting of grasses which line the sweeping bend up to the house. Their winter burnished gold colouring matches the warm stone house.
The Hepworth garden provides an exciting link between the birch avenue and the winter walk, with its mass of seedheads, swaying miscanthus, dainty panicums and pennisetums, and colourful sesleria.
The grasses in the Hokusai garden create another super winter picture with their warm golden tones and swaying seedheads. The grasses in the new Monet borders are also a joy, especially on a sunny day when the miscanthus shines out like now rare 100watt lightbulbs, only solar powered!) all back lit to dramatic effect. They shimmer and gleam and for me are just like a wonderful impressionist painting.
Meanwhile the formal parterres and patterning of the French Garden look good whatever the time of year, whether in frost, snow or just green! We hope you will come and enjoy our winter picture as much as we do!, it is certainly varied and totally different to the other times of year. This is when you appreciate the barebones, the very structure of the garden!
All the pots from the summer Kandinsky pit are in the Solardome keeping dry and warm, hopefully to burst forth again next year.
Bees seek out the nectar from the winter flowering aconites
The Winter Walk with its snaking path and fiery cornus stems. The aconites flower usually first followed by the early daffodils and snowdrops, along with Helleborus foetidus. Silver birch Betula pendula create a canopy above.
Betula papyrifera makes a striking picture with the winter sun lighting up its white trunk. Four Betula utilis var jaquemontii form a great centrepiece in the garden beyond.
Miscanthus Silver Feather is one of the most beautiful sights in the winter garden when the sun lights it up from behind.
Betula utilis var jaquemontii 'Grayswood Ghost create a stunning avenue with their white trunks, backed by soft Pampass pumila and Calamogrostis.
Kathy Brown's Garden
The Manor House, Church Road,
Stevington, Nr Bedford MK43 7QB
Tel. 01234 822064