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In the cold season, the garden is often synonymous with a dreary monochrome mud-like desert - or white in the best of cases. However, it is possible to have a flowered and colorful garden all year round! Here's how to brighten it up and enjoy it all year round without interruption. Contemplate the garden from the inside by the bay window or wander around it to take advantage of its new winter face… Small pleasures frequent in winter, provided that your exterior is primed and alive! "The garden must be structured so that it remains elegant", explains the landscaper Pierre-Alexandre Risser, creator of Horticulture & Gardens and co-organizer of the Parisian fair Gardens, Garden . In a garden in winter you can play on many plans and tips ... here are some.
Introduction to the garden: flowered windows
First of all, to flesh out the view of your exterior from the inside, at the edge of your window or of your bay window overlooking the garden, you can create a collection of succulents in colorful pots. Bulbs can be added on either side of the window (amaryllis; inside, hyacinths, daffodils, daffodils)… The whole will create a nice contrast with the winter landscape. Then, the terrace which makes the link between the house and the garden can play a graphic role, with pavers of different colors arranged so as to create curves or a decor (you will find examples in the book Les Jardins by Christian Fournet, available at the Jardin des Tuileries bookstore).
A green wallpaper with large plants
Then play on ... the green! This may seem paradoxical in winter but it is obvious with the evergreen hedges. Thus, in all seasons, it is pleasant to have a background of large plants such as boxwood, holly, phillyrea, osmanthus, sarcococca ruscifolia, mahonia media Charity or Bealei… Or, to change from the now obsolete thuja, opt for Chinese palm, fatsia japonica or aralia, fatshedera, Tibetan plum, black bamboo ... On this green background, graphic plants, bright barks and colorful flowers will stand out even better . Then choose shrubs like dogwoods with very bright wood, in red (the 'Winter Flame'), yellow or green; or the birches with the silver bark, or the chimonanthus which flowers in yellow all winter, the viburnum also called viburnum. The viburnum x bodnantense flowers at the end of December, and presents fragrant flowers in February even without leaves! Plant it near a crossing point. It supports well the pot life as in the ground. Finally, you can also choose a crooked hazel tree, a Japanese maple Sango Kaku, a cherry tree (prunus serrula) ... Bare, these trees offer another vision of nature. The foundations are laid!
Flowers and color in the garden in winter
Yes, there can be flower and color in the garden in winter! Make mixes according to your preferences of course, and choose easy plants, without maintenance: a prunus autumnalis, a viburnum, a daphne (which flowers in the shade at the foot of the trees, ideal in the north). More precious, flowers like the camellia, very graphic with shiny foliage, also awaken the garden magnificently in winter (plant several varieties which will flower from October 15 to April 15 if they are sheltered and in an acid soil, as in Brittany ). And of course the essential bulbs are splendid from February to April-May. Their advantage: they grow when the other flowers do not grow, so they can be planted everywhere, without disturbing, without taking up space all year round.
As for perennials, hellebores, also called Christmas roses, grow at the feet of trees in the shade; it is the plant par excellence of winter, which offers a multitude of varieties and colors. In addition it is not demanding! Also think of winter heather (in red, pink, mauve or white tones, easy to live with and long flowering), witch hazel whose lemon yellow flowers are very bright (in full bloom in February, you you can associate it with daffodils and daffodils), with primroses and Viola pansies, with mimosa which blooms yellow in February in the south… Delightful rustics for a very decorative composition!
Berry shrubs and climbing plants
Let's not forget the berry shrubs! We like for example rose hips, nandina (or sacred bamboo) whose foliage changes color and turns red in autumn and which gives orange fruits, or even skimmia, wintergreen which gives orange berries in October before to flower in summer, holly, whose fruiting lasts 3 to 4 months at least until February… Finally, you can dress the walls of your house with virgin vine, winter jasmine which flowers in November in the south, honeysuckle or alpine clematis which gives pretty decorative fruits… See how the choice is vast!
Colorful furniture, feeders and accessories for a lively garden in winter
To complete the joyful atmosphere of these plant layouts, nothing better than multicolored furniture, made of plastic or teak, a material that resists water and cold well and can stay outside. Overall, the current strong trend is to bring color into the garden: pots and containers colored with synthetic resin are available today in wide ranges of colors, raspberry, olive, red, taupe… they refresh and rejuvenate the garden! And imagine a bodnantense viburnum in a raspberry jar ... Nothing like to brighten up the garden when light and sun are scarce. In addition, by having decorative feeders at strategic locations, you can observe at your leisure, without moving behind the bay window, the small birds that come to refuel. You bring life and movement to your winter garden. Today there are pretty peaks for hanging balls of fat or pouring seeds, at Arrosoir & Persil for example, on www.jardins-animes.com. Small accessories such as bells (currently very trendy) or garden chimes also allow you to create sound outdoors. And after dark, sparkle small candle jars or simply lit candles in large glass recovery jars. So from 5 p.m., even in snowy weather, your garden becomes magical.
At Christmas, why not put the XL potted tree outside, in front of the house? It will be more enjoyable to stay cool than to be in your heated living room. And decorate it anyway with shimmering balls and garlands ... Superb welcome! You can also use colored mulch at the base of your plants, the garden then becomes a work of art… When the first snowflakes fall, you can imagine a decoration of circumstance by making fagots and frosted verrines for example. Express your creativity.
And the vegetable patch?
"Nothing to do in the vegetable patch?" On the contrary, you can garden your vegetables even in winter. Read the book Growing your garden in winter , from Linda Gray at Delachaux and Niestlé, and learn how to taste your own potatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, beets, green beans and other winter lettuces. "Generally considered as a summer production, there is however an astonishing number of hybrids which fruit during the fall, even at the beginning of winter"… It is then a question of knowing how to preserve and cook them. That's enough to give a new approach to space in winter! Thanks : - Pierre-Alexandre Risser from Horticulture & Gardens, - François Pauly from Jardiland, - Olivier Lefebvre from Botanic. Our practical garden videos