Barking mad

Winter gardens concentrate the mind.  It’s the detail that counts.  Whether peering at the delicate formation of a snowdrops perianth, the frosted hairs on brittle seed heads, or the last few remaining translucent berries on the viburnum it’s a time of year to revel in  the beauty of the often overlooked. 

This week in the Genus garden it was the tree bark that caught our eye during a rare moment of low winter sun.  It warmed our cheeks and lit up bare tree trunks as it passed through the garden before crossing the surrounding fields.

The glossy red stems of  Prunus serrula shone out wanting to be touched and were complemented by the smooth ghostly trunks of their neighbour Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii.  A river birch, (Betula nigra) nearby, wore it’s shaggy coat of peeling bark like a fur coat, well prepared for the bitter and extreme cold of it’s native Minnesotan winters.

It made us want more interesting bark in the garden, and with a choice of stunning acers, eucalyptus, and eye popping dogwoods in colours from red to black we’re already looking for spots that might just accommodate a tree or two.