Year-round interest is the Holy Grail for many a gardener but it’s easier said than done – rare is the garden that dazzles in December.It’s not however an issue at 55 Carbery Avenue, where the garden manages to look good regardless of the season, weather or even time of day.
Here are some of our favourite gifts for gardeners – from the dilettante to the dedicated, for any season. From the practical to the playful and the ephemeral to the enduringly beautiful, there should be something to please everyone.
One good thing about buying someone a plant for Christmas is, even if they’ve already got the one you give, it’s always lovely to have more! Which plant you choose will depend on the garden it’s going to, but if you’re feeling in need of a little inspiration, our panel of experts have shared which plant they’d love to give or receive this Christmas.
Gleaming gold and enmeshed in a metal frieze of black and silver circles evoking the city’s industrial past, the new Library of Birmingham bestrides the central Centenary Square, part luxury ocean-going liner and part giant Lego construction in design. Inside blue-lit travelators ferry visitors up and down through cavernous book rotundas.This strikingly different design by Dutch architects Mecanoo also includes three unique and distinctive roof gardens which encompass elaborately patterned parterres and potagers, undulating landscapes of grasses and flowers and wildflower meadows.
It’s not every exhibition that can boast its own specially commissioned pop-up garden, but Georgians Revealed, at the British Library until 11 March 2014, is an honourable exception. Installed on the usually rather austere forecourt of the BL, the Georgeobelisk, instigated by Cityscapes and designed by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, is a quirky overture to an exhibition that asks ‘never mind the Romans, what did the Georgians ever do for us’?
When the autumn turns to sepia, it’s a good time to plant up a promise of spring. Bulbs are a cheap and easy way to bring life into the garden in the early months of the year – from the shy purity of snowdrops in February to the sleek glamour of tulips in April.
As countryside food supplies dwindle and temperatures fall, wild creatures, like the aristocrats of old, are heading to town for the winter season. Given the on-going decline of the usual habitats, we suggest alternative much sought-after properties to see these creatures through the cold .
When land is in short supply, builders look upwards and you can do a similar thing in the garden by picking skyscraper plants. Columnar or spire-like plants are useful for adding height, structure and screening in a small plot without taking up much floor space.