In bleak midwinter, evergreen plants come into their own this month and I had a great time visiting a nearby garden to get their full beauty.
New year is a perfect to catch these stars at a nearby Botanic Garden and look out for the succulent plants.
Here are some of my highlights that put a glimmer of sparkle to the month
Euphorbia, or spurge, suits every situation from desert to bog. Look out for them in both formal courtyards and wild woodlands.
Spurges are a great plant for difficult areas of dry shade, particularly under trees. As they are evergreen they also give handy groundcover. Left unchecked it can take over, romping through areas of a small garden.
The Winter months let me focus on the evergreens that often are missed when the Summer flowers blossom and as my visit has shown they are worthy of attention.
A popular Winter plant, due to its hardy nature. The succulent plant lives in gravel with spiky shapes that are built to survive. I found Euphorbia is part of a large collection at England’s oldest Physic Garden, in Oxford. Some of Britain’s Physic Gardens are often connected to Churches where the clergy would manage the upkeep of the precious plants.
Many Botanic Gardens began as Physic Gardens and their plant collections often have a medical story to tell. The plots of plants are often laid out according to the 17th Century ailment they would ease.
Seeds brought back from European visits by Aristocrats on the Grand Tour helped bring back new species we still enjoy today.
The intricate designs of the evergreen plants and the different tones of greens I can spot today makes me feel optimistic for the return of fragrant flowers that Spring will bring along.
Happy last days of January!