No Bones About it: Winter Garden Design

Is your garden lacking a back bone? Please read on….Now is the perfect time to assess your garden and see where the gaps are and how things could be improved. As we move towards winter and the herbaceous plants are dying down, the bones of the garden are revealed. One can see what the framework of the garden should be and properly ascertain how things can be improved. If your borders lack structure, or winter interest, or vista lines do not line up as effectively as they might in order to frame the best views and/or screen the least attractive, this will all be revealed in the depths of winter.

Winter interest in the borders, including fragrant species and lovely winter flowers such as Hellebores, all benefit from being relatively close to the house, where they can be appreciated as one comes and goes, rather than at the bottom of the garden where one seldom ventures from December to March.

If space allows, a winter walk with trees and shrubs of interesting colour and bark provides a reason to get out into the garden.

It is better in the landscape to provide spaces for themed borders rather than to ask one border to be all things to all people, all of the time. If you are aiming for a border that has year round interest this can be provided, but it is unlikely to have a period of peak interest, so the chances of you arriving in the garden and saying “wow” are remote. However if you can provide spaces for winter, spring, and summer borders (with structure) they will have a peak period and this is will provide the “wow” factor. This does not mean that in other seasons there is no interest – structure, colour, seed heads and texture can all provide further interest at other times – but it is at the peak of its season when things get really exciting in the garden.


For all the above reasons, this really is the best time of year to consider designing your garden. All of the planning decisions can be resolved during the winter, ready to see your new garden built and planted as the days lengthen in time to enjoy it all during the spring and summer. Therefore, do please call Nicholsons or email the team at and asked to talk to one of our garden designers soon to take advantage of the best planning time or even perhaps to consider a good garden design as a gift to yourself that just keeps on giving!

Tina James has been designing gardens with Nicholsons for ten years. Her work includes large and small gardens in town and country locations across the counties including some high profile clients. The designs are carefully thought through to meet the client brief and create beautiful gardens with some of the most beautiful planting schemes you will see anywhere today. With a passion for creating beautiful planting schemes plants usually feature heavily in her designs but always meet the clients expectations for maintenance, even low maintenance planting can be beautiful!

No Bones About it: Winter Garden Design