In January I’m looking for a Winter Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about winter gardens. You can interpret this any way you want; a garden in winter, winter flowers, or plants in a glasshouse)

View Point Bench
View Point Bench – RHS Wisley

The palette of a winter garden in England becomes subtle – no longer the colours of the rainbow, but muted greys, greens and browns.

Muted colours
Muted colours

The finer details that may go unnoticed at busier times of the year now come into their own. The patina of moss and lichens on an old stone wall or between cobbles; the pattern of an old brick Victorian pathway; statues and sculptures no longer hidden by shrubs and flowers reveal their shape and beauty.

A striking shadow of a curved branch.

winter (5)

Mossy branches, dried seed-heads, fragrant witch-hazel and skimmia and mahonia, the bright cheerful colour of cornus stems.

The luminosity of a hellebore flower…

and pretty pink cyclamen poking through the mulch of leaves beneath the winter-bare broadleaved woodland trees;


the sculptural form of an ancient oak tree and knobbly lindens; blue sky and white clouds behind a twisted framework of naked branches.

Columns or clouds of neatly trimmed box and yew and beech.  Shadows formed by a low slung sun among the gnarled trunks of old apple trees in an age-old orchard.


You may think an English winter garden is boring. But look again.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JanuaryWinter Gardens
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in February.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.



51 thoughts on “garden photography: an english winter garden

  1. Is this all Wisley? What a wonderful orchard, I bet there are some old varieties there. And the cobble and brick pathways make our ugly, modern patio slabs look ghastly don’t’ they? You picked a lovely bright day!


    1. Only a few from Wisley, most of the images are from the NT places near here, the lovely paths are at Croft Castle – as is the orchard. And you know me Gilly, I only venture out on the bright days!


  2. So much winter treasure, Jude. A very lovely post, and cheering too on a gloomy day. I was just responding to your very nice comment on my post, and WP zapped it before I could. The whole system feels a bit wobbly too. I notice some people are suffering missing ‘f’s syndrome.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haven’t got out much this winter as I loathe dullness and drizzle, was hoping to pop over to Shrewsbury today to photograph a few of the buildings I haven’t got good images of to continue the tour or the town. I like Sunday as there are usually less people in the way AND parking is only £1 for the whole day. Maybe next week… Sorry your comment got zapped, I hate it when that happens. I think some of mine recently have disappeared down that rabbit-hole known as the spam folder. I shall go hunting for yours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I haven’t had problems with the ‘f’ key, but I have had problems putting in an apostrophe in the caption of a photograph. Have had to close Chrome down and reload. Thought it was just my keyboard, but obviously not.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m growing fonder of bare trees and the ‘dull’ browns than I used, Jude, but I’m still grabbed by that lovely Mahonia 🙂 And I love pebble paths and sculptures too. You’ve excelled yourself here, love. This is a beautifully crafted post. Happy Sunday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Colline, the post has images from several gardens, but RHS Wisley is probably the best winter garden as they have lots of grasses and seed-heads. And they all look stunning in the spring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a lovely idea – I hadn’t thought positively enough about winter enhancing details that were otherwise hidden, I just thought about what was missing. Not a winter fan on the whole!

    I had that problem with fs, as mentioned above, on a blog I was commenting on yesterday. When I noticed first had come out as irst I thought I’d missed the f, went back to put it in and it immediately showed up as ffirst! WordPress, doncha just love it sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a winter person so I have to look for the positives otherwise I’d become very depressed. Nice to see the days lengthening at last. And what is it with the ‘f’s? How weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely gardens.
    I don’t know why but every time I see a comment from you, it says I am not following you, so I hit the follow button and then next time I’m unfollowing again. Very strange…
    Oh and I’ve had the ‘F’ key problem too!


    1. Well I do have several blogs, so maybe you are following one but not the others? My avatar goes to the flower blog now (just to promote it a bit more) but it used to point to Travel Words. (Links on the menu on both blogs) but heaven only knows what WP does!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is lovely to get out into a winter garden if the weather is clement, especially ones like these where the ‘bones’ of the garden are so good. I shall be over to yours soon. I remember those snowy winters well!


    1. Ah, you are so good to go and find me a winter garden. Of course you realise that I now expect you to find me one next week in the Algarve? The monochrome doesn’t start until 7 Feb so…. and I am sure there must be an Internet café somewhere in Tavira 😉


      1. Nope! 🙂 Well, there is but I’d rather not. You forget it’s my ‘down time’. I will, of course, keep an eye on the flora but I doubt I’ll find anything wintery unless you count cherry blossom? 🙂


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