Yesterday there was lots of interest in our ‘Midwinter Fire’ post on Cornus stem colour(below), with our second highest page views ever. So it will not surprise you that we are reluctant to ‘stem the flow’ of interest. Oops, sorry !

Of course such a torch- like beacon of flame is not for everyone! And winter stem effects can be much more subtle. The words treacle, tan, taupe and toffee come to mind. Out in the garden yesterday, as fugitives from an article we are in the midst of writing together (two brains being better than one!), we were struck by:


Even on a rather dull day it excited with tan colour and fuzzy texture against the stout and sober corporality of the yew hedge. It doesn’t exactly flower its head off, but with winter colour like this it scarcely needs to.

It is Viburnum farreri ‘Dwarf Form.’ 

 A garden visitor a few weeks ago said ‘How clever of you to prune it into this little hummock!’

Honesty really  is the best policy. We don’t!

And it makes a neat punctuation mark just as you are about to pass through the yew hedge.

Lesley and Robert