A group of us were on a visit to the home of an alpine plantswoman. Unfortunately we were treated to particularly gloomy weather that day and did the tour of her smallish garden in heavy drizzle (it was either November or February, one of those slightly blue months).
Eventually we crowded into her living room and carried on the talk about her exciting cold frames full of trillium seedlings and the other things we'd enjoyed outside. After a while I stopped concentrating, because I could hardly take my eyes away from her big picture window. There, framed as if they were in a painting, were the trunks and bare branches of two trees, planted in close partnership: Betula utilis var. jacquemontii and Prunus serrula.
The picture of the birch above was borrowed from the website of the Stone Lane Gardens in Devon, both a garden and a tree nursery, which holds the NCCPG collection of birches. Do take a peek at their website (I hope they forgive me for 'borrowing' their picture, but at least it's to promote birches and their collection). Better still, pay them a visit and post about their beautiful plantings. If only I still lived in the UK and could visit myself!
It is difficult to buy plants in this part of France, and I have to resort to buying new things online. If anyone who lives in Europe can recommend good nurseries (with good prices!) that deliver in France, I'd appreciate it.
Below are two pictures of the relatively small area where I'm hoping to put the winter knot garden. I had to rip out the young box plants in September when they came down with blight, and now I'm wondering if hedges of Sarcococca humilis or S. confusa might do as a box replacement?
Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to anyone who happens to stop by!