Friday 23 January 2015

Winter gardens

Even though it has its brave stands of leeks and the brassica bed is lush and green, the allotment does not look at its best in January.There are not yet any signs of spring on the way and every thing looks grey and downtrodden in the wet.

Time to raise the spirits with a visit to places which come into their own in the winter. My own outside space might be looking sorry for itself, but the winter garden at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden (above) sings with colour at this time of year and the winter walk at Anglesey Abbey (below) is at its most spectacular, And happily they are just a few miles apart and easily visitable in the same day.

Despite the rain, the colours of Anglesey Abbey's Winter Walk are vibrant

Relatively underplanting beneath Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' hides the less colouful main stems. The silvery stems of Rubus thibetanus 'Silver Fern' make the beds look as though they have been sprinkled with frosting.

Contrats in form and colour with conifers and grasses at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

The venerable Pyrus communis 'Pitmaston Duchess' espalier at Anglesey Abbey

The sun came out in the afternoon, bringing some welcome warmth to the woodland paths at Anglesey Abbey
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
1, Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE
Open 10.00am-4.00pm January; 10.00am-5.00pm, February and March; 10.00am-6.00pm April to September.
Admission price: Adults: £5.00, concessions: £4.50; children under 16: free

Anglesey Abbey
Anglesey Abbey, gardens, and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire, CB25 9EJ
Garden open 10.30am-4.30pm January to March; 10.0am-5.30pm April to October
Admission price gardens and mill: Adults: £7.10; children: £3.75

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