Warmer Shades of Brown in the Liminal Garden

Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry)
Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry)

Today’s selection of pictures is not exactly wintry, but hardly spring. (What is the equivalent of ‘wintry’ for spring – surely not ‘springy’?)

Dogwood stems, snowdrops and witch hazel
Dogwood stems

While 1st March brought the start of meteorological spring, we’ll remain in astronomical winter until 20th March. Crocuses, snowdrops, primulas and early daffodils may be proclaiming that the tilt of the world doesn’t matter a jot to them, but they’ll need to hunker down through the snowfall that is predicted for parts of the North West UK next week.

Hamamelis (witch hazel)
Hamamelis (witch hazel)

Here we have pronounced, contrasting seasons. In the ‘dead’ of winter, setting aside the fairy lights, the natural world can start to seem nothing but lush moss-green against drab, grey-brown.

So bear with me if I’m rather strangely celebrating the reddish / pinky notes I’m seeing in the browns

Epimedium leaves
Epimedium leaves

Is it a quality in the light, a natural blush sweeping over the plants as their sap rises or just a quirk of my attention?

Bergenia leaves
Bergenia leaves

Whatever the reason, it’s welcome.

Helleborus x sternii Blackthorn Group
Helleborus x sternii Blackthorn Group

Our hours of daylight have crept up to almost eleven per day from less than eight in December. It makes a difference to plants as well as people.

Variegated Phormium
Variegated Phormium

Several types of trees are producing catkins which always seem the clearest sign that spring is near. Some of the alders’ ones have an attractive purplish bloom, but I’m sharing this very striking willow in keeping with my colour theme:

Salix gracilistyla 'Mount Aso'
Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’

I wonder how many Lancastrians could say that winter is their favourite season. While it’s not mine, I do like the way well-defined seasons and their inexorable changes affect the rhythm of our lives. In the next few weeks, we’ll find ourself switching from winter’s slow waltz to a spirited polka. And I’m ready – bring on those spring brights!

34 Replies to “Warmer Shades of Brown in the Liminal Garden”

  1. What a glow in this ruddy brown! There’s real encouragement in it, and thank goodness! I admire it all, but I am especially partial to that crinkly witch hazel — there’s a plant with a sense of humor!

  2. Lovely colours and the beauty of early, muted spring. We have nothing much of spring yet, and expecting snow and cold next week too. Better cover their heads again if they want to survive this blow. Luckily no magnolias yet…

  3. Lovely red and pink tones, especially the willow and the fantastic witch hazel. The Tibetan cherry makes me smile because it reminds me of one I loved to stroke. 🙂

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