Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

Garden column: January can be so beautiful

 In general, January is the darkest month. We all eagerly wait for the end of the dark season to start again in the garden; in the garden, however, it is often wet, cold and dirty – and light late and dark early.

This time can be bridged well with a little garden planning and foresight, or a little remedy. There is a multitude of winter bloomers, fruit-bearing plants and shapely trees, which – if correctly placed – delight the gardener’s heart in the dark season.          

The kitchen is the most frequently used room in the apartment, so it makes sense to place winter bloomers in the garden in that way, that they can be seen from the kitchen windows. The classic has always been the witch hazel. However, there are a large number of other woody plants that shine with fruit decorations or first flowers in winter:

Callicarpa, winter snowball, winter cherry, dog roses, malus, crataegus, hazel,….

In order not to get a mess, we have designed certain areas for these winter borders – which are also more in partial shade to shade with protective shrubs. Here you will of course also find spring roses, cyclamen and finer geophytes.

One should not forget – depending on the nature of the garden and design – the above-ground parts of the plants of the grasses and perennials bearing seeds. They provide a great framework and give the borders structure. Great pictures are created in frost, the animal world is happy about food from the seed heads and the protection of the plant remains.

These include, for example, Monarda, Echinacea, Veronicastrum, Hydrangeas, Cimicifuga, Thalictrum, Sanguisorba, Clematis and almost all grasses.

In addition today a small picture gallery from the garden.


In the next week I will write about why we only plant very specific flower bulbs in our perennial borders and what needs to be considered in winter.