Are you a 3D gardener?
At this time of the year, gardens can be, well, a bit flat. At least the bulbs are starting to appear now, with snowdrops, aconites and crocuses putting on a cheerful show.
But, in your garden, is all the action happening at ground level? Do you shuffle round looking at your feet all the time? Maybe you don't have any Spring bulbs coming through, in which case the view's probably a bit drab...
If your garden sounds a bit like this, then raise your gaze. Look straight ahead, all round you. Now, look up- say at an angle of 75 degrees. What do you see?
If the answers are 'not very much, other than the walls of the house' or 'the fence', then you're missing a trick. You're only gardening in 2D! With the exception of those emerging Spring bulbs and maybe some intermittent Winter pansies, the fact is that all the interesting features in a Winter garden tend to be happening off the ground rather than in it.
Now, time for a little expectation management! We are talking Winter-time here. Yes, there are some things flowering (Viburnum bodnantense, Winter jasmine, Mahonia, Clematis cirrhosa), some with delicious scent, but you should also think about structure and texture. Think about trees with interesting bark (like the ghostly white birch or Acer griseum with its peeling bark), evergreens (not just conifers - look at Skimmia with its fresh green leaves, some of the spotted laurels or even a bamboo) or plants with enduring seed-heads, like Teasel, Fennel or some of the tall grasses with their feathery plumes. So, not necessarily colour but certainly interest. Combined with the Winter sun that shines through plants rather than down on them, the effect can be magical!
Oh, and another benefit of gardening 3D is that your eye isn't drawn to those ubiquitous weeds!
If you'd like some help with converting your garden from 2D to 3D, without the need for those funny glasses, do get in touch!