Autumn/Winter 2014

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'black grass' Ophiopogon 'Nigrescens'Autumn has slipped by since the last update, and we are now in the depths of winter here at Langdale.

Building a garden from scratch and planting it up are simply the first steps in the development of a garden.  Time has to play its part too.  While for the most part progess is quietly incremental, once in a while you get a step change and last autumn was one such at Langdale.  For me this marked a turning point in the development of the garden, it started to feel like a maturing garden instead of a newly built one.  I love the way the bleached heads of the grasses catch the warm sun in the blue border, and autumn simply glows from Cotinus ‘Grace’ (left).

Cotinus 'Grace'To me as a garden photographer a dusting of frost is always a delight in the garden, but I find it extraordinary the way frost really enhances certain plants.  For much of the year the black stemmed bamboo Phyllostachys nigra is a lovely thing, slender foliage rustling in a gentle breeze emphasizing the dark framework of its stems, but look how it is transformed by an early winter frost (right), offset beautifully by the “black grass” Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’.