Dramatic winter displays

There is a magic-lantern show happening in your outdoor space right now, because the sun is sinking a little bit lower day by day. It is slanting through the garden, picking up intricate detail and deepening colour as it goes. From Asian and Himalayan birches to dogwoods and winter grasses, Val Bourne suggests options for a dramatic winter display.

Many trees shine at this time of year, but Asian and Himalayan birches stand out above all the others. Their pale bark has a silky sheen in winter light, especially if the trunks have had an autumnal wash and brush-up with tepid water. There are bumps and lumps, officially known as lenticels and pores, and these dots and dashes come to the fore in winter as their bark peels at the edges. It’s a natural version of morse code on papyrus, and birch trunks feel warm to the touch – the garden equivalent of a hot-water bottle.

The birch, (genus Betula), genus of about 40 species of short-lived ornamental and timber trees and shrubs of the family Betulaceae, distributed throughout cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Gray birch (Betula populifolia), paper birch (B. papyrifera), river birch (B. nigra), sweet birch (B. lenta), yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), and various species of white birch (notably B. pendula and B. pubescens) are the best known. {Encyc. Br.}

Birches are easily grown, although care must be taken to water these shallow-rooted trees in their first year or so. A can of water twice a week, during the growing season, is the way to go. They will also need staking when planted, until their roots get into the ground.

Read more: The best trees, shrubs and seedheads for a magical winter garden


Filed under Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Nature

4 responses to “Dramatic winter displays

  1. The amount of variaties on birches is incredible.

    But I think they are all wonderful.

    Kind regards,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Antrodia mushrooms a well kept secret | From guestwriters

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