Living Flowers

Flowers From The Dales

IF CAREFULLY PLANNED, the winter garden can provide an abundance of attractive plant material for use in our by winter-flowering shrubs such as Viburnum, Daphne and Sarcoccoco, and just a small piece will add delightful fragrance throughout your home.

Our own winter garden at Yorke House is visible through the kitchen window, where the plantings are backed by a dry-stone wall extending down to the fields and woods of the Nidd Valley. It is a joy on the dark winter days! Two white stemmed birch create the main feature, underplanted with several fabulous, red-stemmed Cornus alba ‘Baton Rouge’. This color is repeated in plantings of Leucothoe ‘Scarletta’ and contrasts well with the dried Colamagrostis and honestly seedheads. Stunning white Ashwood hybrid hellebores commence flowering in December, continuing to give much pleasure during the next four months.

This area gradually gives way to a small copse of birch, underplanted with winter-flowering shrubs, Viburnum bodnantense and several Sarcoccoca. A carpet of snowdrops spreads through the wooded area, interspersed with early-flowering primroses and evergreen ferns.

Not only does this special area give me immense pleasure during the winter months, but also it provides a variety of foliage, stems and flowers to enjoy in informal floral designs in my home.

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