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).
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’.