The richly-marbled leaves of Arun italicum are adding precious interest to an otherwise quiet garden. It’s an undemanding plant that I lifted and divided late last spring to spread at the foot of various shrubs at the shady end of the garden.
A pair of variegated Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’ sit either side of the garden path. With a regular prune in June and October they keep their shape as fat round balls and in spring are smothered with tiny yellow-green flowers.
Lamium ‘Silver Beacon’ had taken over in many beds last year so it was seriously blitzed. But I’m pleased to see it emerging again in limited areas and it’s an interesting leaf to add to cut flowers.
The beech hedge that breaks up the garden halfway forms a significant framework and adds a coppery contrast to the evergreen box hedges at this time of year.
Another framework shrub that enlivens the garden in winter is the evergreen Fatsia japonica. The enormous seven -to-nine fingered leaves appear polished reflecting the winter sunshine and it makes a good screen to the garden shed.
The strappy evergreen leaves of Agapanthus africanus are looking fantastically healthy in three huge pots next to the house wall. With a seriously cold winter forecast I’ll need to drape round the pots with bubble wrap to protect them.
A gift of the miniature daffodil tete-a-tete are starting to bloom in the warmth of the kitchen. I’ve made a note to pot up more of this bulb next year since they are a great way to bring spring forward. They’ll be planted in the garden to die back when they’ve finished flowering.