With soil of heavy clay, this garden can be exceptionally wet in the Winter yet bone-dry in Summer, a quandary for the gardener. It is also home to rabbits and deer so any planting must be robust enough to cope with the local residents. A number of plants, many chosen for their Winter appeal, have shown the tenacity required to earn a place in this garden. The native Iris foetidissima, displays Summer flowers in muted tones followed by vivid orange seeds in Winter. The Winter flowering Christmas box, Sarcococca confusa, is tolerant of the shade, bearing white scented blossom throughout the colder months. The addition of Salix alba subsp. vitellina‘ Britzensis’, known for its peach and orange toned Winter bark, adds warming colour to the space. The crab apple, Malus x zumi 'Golden Hornet' offers a mass of bright golden fruits through Autumn into Winter.
At ground level, Arum italicum pictum marmoratum adds interest with beautiful, variegated foliage and early flowers followed by shiny orange berries in mid-Summer. A dense bed of Symphytum grandiflorum, provides excellent ground cover. Beloved by bumble bees, the comfrey is always one of the best places to observe hairy-footed flower bees and common carder bees at work. The Winter Garden is a garden that should be viewed throughout the seasons, coming into its own, as the name suggests, in the coldest part of the year.