Of Winter, and November foliage

I have been a bit busy in the garden, as recorded in my Gardening Diary page. Winter finally seems on its way, and I should be planting the last tulips, had I not run out of decent containers and compost. I have bought a few oxalis corms which also need to be planted. When I left Paris, I had to part with an oxalis triangularis which was not doing very well, to be honest, but that I loved as it was offered to me by my best friend after one such plant featured in a novel I wrote.

I don’t do Winter bedding. I tend to (try to) appreciate enthusiasm in gardening regardless of how the outcome suits my taste. However, although I feel appropriately amused and cheered, walking along the garden centre’s shelves of colourful pansies, dainty cyclamens and ornemental cabbage, I dislike the artificial coating they give to winter gardens.

Winter’s beauty stems from bleakness, starkness (of course, this statement comes from a person priviledged enough to have shelter, central heating and so on, I appreciate that). I admire gardens which understand and celebrate Winter’s bare grace instead of trying to conceal it or dress it up. In their contemplation, I find a gripping emotion related to the acceptance of truth. Stripped of all adornment, what is there left ? Bare stems, barks, seedheads, structures, skeletons, decay – death, and life within it. There is such power in the darkness of winter. Sleep and hibernation are for plants a gathering of strength. As for beauty, I don’t think anything can beat the glory of a silver birch against a winter sky.

But I am getting ahead of myself, it is only November after all. A few pictures of some treasures found in my garden or near my house.

Acer palmatum Osakazuki

Photo 10-11-2017 09 10 37

Acer palmatum Redwine

Forsythia

Photo 10-11-2017 09 05 27

Anemone japonica Honorine Jobert

Photo 10-11-2017 09 11 49

Cornus alba

Photo 10-11-2017 09 06 48

Hosta Canadian Blue

Photo 10-11-2017 09 08 49

Hydrangea (can you spot the snail ?)

Photo 10-11-2017 09 09 52

Fagus sylvatica purpurea

Photo 10-11-2017 09 06 03

And a felled tree in the field, death’s ever open eye.

Photo 09-11-2017 15 14 08

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