Winter Wonderland

Pepper pot pavilion in the Terrace Garden, Highgrove Garden – © Highgrove/GAP Photos

Pepper pot pavilion in the Terrace Garden, Highgrove Garden – © Highgrove/GAP Photos

If ever a picture spoke of the fairytale magic of a winter garden, this has to be it. It features a corner of the Terrace Garden, which was one of the first parts of Highgrove to be laid out by Prince Charles. His intention was to create a sheltered area close to the main house where he could enjoy his favourite scented shrubs and perennials. What this photo so enticingly illustrates is that the plants, and the design as a whole, have an entirely different allure in winter.

Dusted with frost and caught in the low-angled sunlight, the elegant but relaxed planting shows how a garden can excel in every season. The image shows an interesting mixture of classical elements (topiary, geometry, box hedging) balanced with an informal, almost whimsical arrangement that adds to the sense of wonder. We can also appreciate the contribution made by evergreen planting to the winter scene; how wonderful it looks framed by ice-touched paving against a background of skeletal oaks. Apart from the paving itself, other hard landscaping and ornamentation also come into their own; the visual impact of the giant urn and the ‘pepper pot’ pavilion balancing each other nicely.