We fulfilled a long-time ambition yesterday and took the Winter Walk in the gardens of Anglesey Abbey just outside Cambridge.
There were carpets of snowdrops, aconites, crocus, hellebores and these ghostly little iris reticulata Kathleen Hodgkin.
Massed plantings of coppiced willow, cornus, and corylus avellana contortua - I love the way the elegant catkins contrast with the twisting branches.
A good garrya elliptica is a sight to behold, but not for long as once the tassles are over they are the dingiest looking things ever to be seen in a garden! They are still looking rather lovely here..
What we really came to see was this stand of birch - betula Jacqumontii. It was a photograph of these which inspired us to plant ten of them in our own small garden.
There are ten in this group! How lovely is that?
The other most striking thing was the strength of the scent in the air in the winter garden. Winter honeysuckle, mahonia, daphne, viburnum New Dawn, wintersweet, witch hazel and long hedges lining the paths, of sarcococca. It was astonishingly fragrant. We saw our first bumble bee of the season..
Well worth a winter visit if you get the chance.