Finishes that flourish in Winter
Materials are so important in design, both natural and man-made. When designing I consider not only the colours and textures of plants, but also the materials used in flooring, furniture and fencing. Flowers and foliage die back in winter, but wood, metal and stone look fab all year and can even change and improve in bad weather. The gorgeous warm, rusty finish of corten steel, for instance, weathered over time.
Contrasting dark and light, rough and smooth also remains interesting whatever the season. Pale, porcelain paving lifts a space and reflects light, even when wet. This contrasts beautifully beside gravel or natural pebbles, the depth of their colours deepening in rain.
Details that turn up the heat
Using bold patterns and colours in a garden can make a dramatic backdrop for planting or a focal point to draw the eye and they don’t dull in winter. Tiles and paint make a big splash that stays bright and cheerful all year. I even use coloured Perspex cladding on fences or boundaries to bring extra colour to a space. While giant, colourful planters also brighten the vista. Especially when filled with phormium and yuccas, to add tropical heat.
Winter plants that pack a punch
Every garden, no matter the style, needs a mixture of plants. Evergreen trees and shrubs are the green in your garden all year round – and not just green either. Some have vibrant leaves, berries or even flowers in autumn and winter. They often take a back row seat in summer when the flouncy flowers are out, but become the stars around now. Place evergreens in strategic places. Not only boring bushes, but bamboo, yuccas and choisya, look modern, adventurous and fresh.