GBFD December

There is no pretending any more – it is winter.  The trees are bare; it is now the structure and the foliage of evergreen and ever-silver plants that are the mainstay of the garden.

For checking if you have good form and texture in the garden you can’t beat looking at you photographs in black and white.  This is not my idea, books recommend trying this and Janet at Plantaliscious often uses this method to learn about her garden. In this way you aren’t distracted by coloured flowers.  If you think your garden looks attractive in black and white I’m sure it looks amazing in colour.

Here’s a few examples, why don’t you try a few too and link into Garden Bloggers Foliage Day to share your findings.  Thanks so much for joining in this month but if you are too busy preparing for the Christmas festivities why not try it for January.

The left side border

I’m surprised at just how good this border looks in December in black and white.  Here it is in colour:

I almost prefer it in black and white, which I think is interesting.

Skeletal branches of the trees contrast with the mass of clipped lavender and grasses give lightness and movement

In colour its like this

The Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ sings out even without colour

Looking up the bank, the groundcover foliage plants are making quite an impact

Sometimes it is the foliage that is beautiful or interesting when viewed close-to, as in this Euphorbia which seems almost to be deformed but I remember that some were like this last year and they still grew normally.


This morning I awoke to a ground-frost, so just to prove that Italy is cold in winter here are some icy shots to finish.

Foliage is even more silvery with frost

Rather elegant black grass edged in frost

Please leave a comment with your link, thank you. Christina

19 thoughts on “GBFD December

  1. I love all the texture in your frosty photos, especially the euphorbia.

    I think Donna at Garden Walk, Garden Talk also mentioned using the black and white photo technique. I must try it and see what results I get.

    Have a great holiday!

  2. What a great idea, Christina. I’d never thought about taking black and white photos but looking at yours it definitely highlights the bare bones of the garden. I’ll have to give it a try. Might not get round to it before Christmas but will get out with the camera at some point. Thanks for the tip and I hope you have a happy Christmas.

  3. No b&w shots today, but lots of frosted foliage! The weather here has been bizarre for Pennsylvania: its snowed over the weekend, warmed up to 50 degrees F (10 C) yesterday, but is still frosted most mornings. We are not used to seeing so much of the garden in December! It is nice, but also makes me want more plants for interest.

    Merry Christmas to you in Italy!

  4. The weirded out Euphorbia is cristate. Some people choose to buy cristate forms. Have similar volunteers on some of my aloes. The black and white for form and texture is a good idea. I’ll try it in January.

  5. oh the black and white photos are interesting, it really makes you look at the structure. I might try that but I know my garden isnt that great structure wise especially at this time of year.

    Live your weird Euphorbia

  6. Hi Christina, thanks for the black and white tip, I hadn’t considered that before. Great close up shots of the frost too, those little ice crystals are wondrous things! Merry Christmas and all the best for 2012.

  7. Gorgeous photos that show just how wonderful your garden is! The second view is especially stunning, and I agree, the photo is perhaps even more effective in black and white. However, I generally do prefer full color, as black and white often is like waving a morsel of tasty food in front of one’s mouth, but not allowing a bite!

  8. Hi Christina, I posted my foliage meme in advance because I knew I would have been very busy at Christmas! Your BW pics are beautiful, sepia tones are good too, because light is emphasize by maroon tones.
    What happened to that euphorbia?? Very weird!

    Sorry if I’m late but I wish you Merry Christmas to you and your readers anyway.

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