Icing on the cake


Echinacea ‘Coneflower’

wpid-20130119_093745.jpg2 big trees in snowSo there I was last week, quite content.

wpid-20130119_092846.jpgContent because I was actually up to date with things in the garden. This is very rare as the Good Lady will tell you. The ‘to do’ list stuck to the fridge always seems to grow in disproportion to the time available in which to do said tasks.

So, here we are, after two, snow-free, weeks of leave over Christmas, in the middle of January when nothing has been growing for months, finally up to date. Almost. wpid-20130119_092943.jpgI’ll get going on those early weeds next weekend, I thought to myself. Steel a march on the spring.

And then the snow came.

Not too much in the early part of the week, 3-4 inches last night.

The funny thing is: when I was remarking to myself how (almost) tidy the garden was last weekend, I was also thinking that there wasn’t much of interest. It was tidy, but just, well, a little dull. A bit of oomph is required, something to brighten us all up during the long winter weeks.

Nature provided the solution, as she very often does – the icing on the cake. Some pictures for you, including one from up a ladder!


vegetable patch

roses in snow

January roses

Acer bark

Acer bark

phlomis with snow

Phlomis seed heads


The Woodland, with Viburnum bodnantense in the foreground

south border and herbs

Herb bed




Ice etchings on the greenhouse glass

wpid-20130119_093152.jpgwpid-20130119_093659.jpgsouth border with greenhousetea cup in snowsnow looking down drivesnow on coniferswpid-20130119_092605.jpgwpid-20130119_093048.jpgwpid-20130119_093817.jpgwpid-20130119_092808.jpgwpid-20130119_094820.jpgwpid-20130119_094008.jpg

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45 Responses to Icing on the cake

  1. Alistair says:

    You captured the icing on the cake beautifully. Here in Aberdeen we missed the worst of the snow, very different a few miles inland, mind you we had a fresh fall of about two inches last night. The Acer Griseum with the peeling bark is one of my favourite trees. Alistair


    • Thanks Alistair. I thought you would have received much more snow. We still have about 10 inches after monday’s blizzards. Yes the acer is a fine tree with its peeling bark! In previous garden we had a fine Prunus Serrula – another nice peely tree!


  2. Loved this post! I agree that the garden can be dull in winter and I like how you allowed some of the stems with seed heads to remain. Many frown upon this practice, but I find that it does help to keep some sort of “structure” if you can call it that in the beds where there are no shrubs or permanent structures. We too were blessed with an icing of snow and it does make a big difference. It’s not that brown isn’t attractive, but the white is ethereal! Your photos are wonderful. I love coming to you blog and seeing the banner photo with your walled garden. Thank you~ Sandi


    • Thanks Sandi for your kind comments! Quite agree! We’ve still got a lot of snow here so not sure I’ll get much gardening done this weekend. Do you follow the Chartwell Gardens website? I think it’s excellent! Enjoyed reading your most recent article about your guest speaker- he sounds a real star!


  3. Mark and Gaz says:

    Love photos, although I’m looking forward to seeing the snow go!


  4. Carolyn says:

    Icing on the cake is the perfect metaphor… icing it is indeed! Our gardens are dancing in the deep freeze with snowflakes galore… Magical! Snow always brings excitement to Winter gardens. Can’t imagine your gardens ever in the “dull” category as you mentioned… but now with the icing… Magical! A great way to wait for Spring.


  5. Beautiful photos! You have had so much more snow than we have. Ours came yesterday morning and only stayed for a few hours. I had to be jolly quick to get my snow-dusting photos! 🙂


    • thanks – I did like your picture of the cordylines with their sugar coating! We’ve had loads more snow here with quite a blizzard last night. No more forecast until Friday, I think after which I see a thaw forecast! It’ll be nice to see the plants again!


  6. Christina says:

    It was nice to see you had some sunshine along with the snow. Very pretty. Christina


  7. Anna B says:

    Wonderful photos! I just love your garden 🙂 The ice etchings are really cool!


  8. Helen Johnstone says:

    The snow does make it interesting – well for a day or two. It also gives you a chance to think about seeds etc. I have the catalogues out choosing dahlias 🙂


  9. Holleygarden says:

    We rarely get snow here, but you are so correct in that the garden in winter is a little – dull – without it. I love seeing photos of gardens in the snow. They are truly like a lovely wedding cake.


  10. paulinemulligan says:

    Wonderful selection of pictures, you have certainly had a generous helping of snow making the garden look so different. Love the hats on your phlomis seedheads! This is the time when structure in the garden is all important, the snow shows where there are any gaps, enjoy, but I hope it doesn’t last too long for you, we just had a sprinkling down in this part of Devon, thank goodness.


  11. The herbaceous seedheads are quite handsome in their snow hats. We (in South Carolina) missed a good chance for snow last week, so it appears we may have our second winter in a row without this winter pleasure. I can’t complain too harshly, though, as we had more than 2 inches of rain to fill the lakes and reservoirs.

    I visited Scotland for the first time this past July and was lucky to see many lovely gardens including Broughton House in Kirkcudbright, a real gem. Hope I can visit again some day.


  12. Kevin says:

    I may not be a fan of snow, but I do love the way it catches in the branches and on the shrubs. Your photos perfectly capture nature’s icing.


  13. Beautiful photos. The ice etchings are wonderful.


  14. Lovely snowy photos, no enhancements required for me to enjoy them, but roses are a surprise. Send some snow here to Pennsylvania where all we have is gloom.


  15. Great post. By coincidence I found it waiting for me on my laptop after coming in from our garden taking a very similar series of pictures for a post. You have set the bar high for me!


  16. Ruth2Day says:

    Wow! your pictures are beautiful. I could so run around leaving my footprints in the snow if you’d let me 🙂


  17. I see you spent 2 weeks leave over Christmas and New Year trying to get ahead of the game! You’ve had a bit more snow than we’ve had up here in Edinburgh.
    You’ve captured some lovely shots there – mother nature is incredible isn’t she!!


  18. Linda says:

    Beautiful pictures.


  19. You have a lime tree? I thought those only grew in tropical places. Do you cook with all the limes in the summer? I love the idea of ‘January roses’ since that’s an improbability here. My garden is totally dormant. I’d love to dress up my garden with snow right now.


    • Hello there! Ah, no, we’re talking Tilia sp. here, rather than citrus fruits. Just a bit cold here for the latter – mind you, those inventive Victorians would grow fruiting limes in their glasshouses, so it’s not impossible!

      The common limes were left behind by the owners of the original estate. We have around 4 remaining. In the spring, when they flower, the scent is gorgeous and each of them emits a gentle but quite audible humming sound. Well, the trees don’t but the bees feeding on their pollen do!

      The roses have just gone on and on this winter. I think that might be them now, though. They don’t do that well with snow hats!


  20. Your garden is indeed so lovely in snow…it’s as if you provided these amazing canvases and the snow painted them for winter…snow keeps my garden bright and beautiful until spring arrives.


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