Let There Be Life

                                                          THE WINTER GARDEN

alternative christmas baubles

SOLANUM Pseudocapsicum planted in pots and containers. Starting as a tiny white flower turning to an orange ball, will add some lovely colour to a sheltered spot in hanging pots or containers.


“Anyone can be a gardener this time of year” a friend of mind once said this to me as I helped her choose some plants for her summer garden. “but the difference is you know how to be a gardener all year round”¬† These kind and generous words still resonate with me almost twenty years later as I help plan and design outside spaces for others.

No need for the garden to be a dank, grey place to look upon this time of year, there doesn’t need to be a break from great flower displays.¬† The winter garden, if planned correctly, will delight us just as much as the summer garden and here is a few ideas about how you can achieve this.




Planting Idea: At the end of spring plant snowdrop bulbs in close groups of three to our into the lawn. Space out each group by about six to eight inches covering the entire area. Your reward – a carpet of white covers the lawn from mid January to mid February every year.


Plant in clusters underneath trees or to carpet woodland areas in your garden. They also look pretty in containers, beneath a bay tree or other small tree and will come up year after year.


This plant produces beautiful big flowers, plant outside in abundance to create wonderful winter borders.



frosty winter scene

WHITE HEATHER in a terracotta pot on the patio

Prune winter heathers back to green (never to the woodu stalks)  in spring to produce more flowers the following winter




It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas


As we prepare for Christmas in a frenzy let’s not forget to add Christmas cheer to our gardens and patios which deserve to be loved all year round. Decorating outside with seasonal plants not only continues to bring the outside in during the festive season it also guarantees you that the glamour will remain long after the last Christmas chocolate has been scoffed. ¬†Extend the “look ” by decorating with seasonal plants indoors as well. ¬†Planted pots will last longer than any cut stems, ¬†keeping your spirits high until the delight of all delights appear – the first blooming spring bulbs – heralding the re-birth of another year of non stop blooms in the garden. ¬†Remember gardens are not just for Summer! There is something for every season and there is nothing prettier than a winter plant inspired patio or porch. It is the festive season after all – pump it up.

alternative christmas baubles

The bright orange berries of the solanum – nature’s answer to christmas baubles – hanging outside in these lovely christmassy pots help extend the festive feel to the garden


Nature adding it’s own seasonal decorative touch to the bay tree last week when the siberian winds headed this way bringing with them a frost like none other seen in a long time. ¬†It certainly looked like Jack Frost had been busy the night before!

frost on bay

Nature sprinkles the bay tree with a seasonal dusting of frost

frosty cobwebs

Frosty Cobwebs – only nature could produce something as beautiful as this

frosty winter scene

It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter………….

For the days when  Jack Frost fails to deliver plant up some seasonal cyclamen Рthey give a lovely wintry feel here planted under the potted bay.


CIMG2170Cyclamen planted under a potted bay tree

The magic of nature Рfuschia bells chiming.  Unusual for this time of year and adding a great seasonal touch to the garden with colour and structure


One of the many reasons I am always late for work!

white heathers (late again)

White Heather – still in bloom, taking a little piece of the season outside to create a festive feel inside

white heathers

Forage anything you can find and decorate – holly, ivy, fir trees are all abundant and blooming this time of year

mirror decs

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly

Fa la la la la, la la la la

deck the halls

holly and the ivy

The Holly and The Ivy

Glitz up the Garden, add some baubles to a potted plant ,

¬†’tis the season to be jolly

baubles on bay tree

Baubled up bay tree

baubles on ivy

Baubles hanging from a pot of ivy

silver bauble on lemon tree

decorated lemon tree

pussy willow and baubles

Pussy Willow and baubles

Collect Twigs and seeds heads from the garden – sprayed with silver they make a glittering, natural display

silver sprayed seed heads

sparkle, sparkle

stags anglers 2

The glittering twigs remind me of stags antlers (well then I do have a vivid imagination!)

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

partridge in a pear tree

Silver Sprayed Card Cut Outs – truly entering the festive fever

oh and don’t forget the candles

star candle holder

Teracotta tealight holder

teracacotta start candle holder

Large Teracotta candle holder

starry starry night

Starry Starry Night

candles and hearts

mmmmmm ¬†I’m luvin’ it……………….