Monday, March 22, 2010


People talk about the 'bones' of a garden - the skeleton of plants (usually evergreen) that give the garden structure throughout the year, once the frou frou plants of summer have died down or been removed.
The Tower Garden

The Italian garden

The Japanese Garden
The top photo of each set was taken in August, the bottom photo last weekend (mid March). It is perhaps not surprising that the Japanese Garden has barely changed, as the garden relies heavily on evergreens and mosses to provide its contemplative atmosphere. The fresher greens of new acer growth will develop over the next month or so, to enliven the garden with the energy of spring.


easygardener said...

Hmmm..I think my garden needs a few more bones. Somehow structure seems much easier in a large garden. I've never got the hang of it in mine!

Tim said...

Just beautiful! Are these all at Tatton Park?

HappyMouffetard said...

EG - yes, my garden is boneless at the moment, too and could do with a bit of backbone.

Tim - Yes, they're all at Tatton.

Carol said...

I keep telling myself year after year to add more backbone to my stick gardens... those Japanese gardens are beautiful!

Rothschild Orchid said...

I am really going to have to make a trip to Tatton. It is such an eye opener to see how good a garden looks at any time of the year if you get the design right first off. I'm just waiting for the BBC gardening show "How to look good naked" for your garden. Who do you think should present it?

RO xx

Jo said...

These photo's show the structure of the garden's really well. I'm afriad my garden in sorely lacking in that department.

Juliet said...

Those are really interesting, HM - and show me how much I like year round planting rather than structural bones as the Japanese garden is by far my favourite of the three.

HappyMouffetard said...

Carol - yes, the Japanese garden is wonderful.

RO - now that's got me thinking, but mostly scary thoughts which will give me nightmares for weeks.

Jo - mine too. It helps, of course, if you've got great big gardens, like at Tatton.

Juliet - good point.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Great post, it's fascinating to see the differences between summer and very early spring in the European style gardens. Many years ago, I visited Vienna and Paris in late March. It was the only time I visited either one. Seeing the great gardens naked was rather disappointing, so there is much to be said for the Japanese style of gardening.
As my garden is generally buried beneath mass quantities of snow all winter, the only relevant bones are trees, tall shrubs and fences.

Plant Mad Nige said...

In terms of bones, I think my garden must be a jellyfish!

chasity said...

these gardens are amazing.
they make me feel a bit inadequate