The Savill Garden is situated at the southern end of Windsor Great Park, covers 35 acres and does not charge admission during the month of December. What more incentive does a Scot need to visit and marvel at such a fine landscaped garden during the Christmas holidays in the UK? I felt now was the time to really appreciate a garden that is reduced to its bare bones by the winter.
As expected, full use had been made of the colours available in winter with beds of dogwood adding patches of brightness.
It was easier to see the sculptural detail provided by the trees.
Colour was provided by the Mahonia with their large yellow flowers.
The barks of the trees were much in evidence and I was particularly impressed by this Acer which kept its deep pink/red colour to the tips of its twigs.
These trunks looked as if they were reflecting the sun, although the sun was most definitely lacking!
Nature had provided a harmonious decoration to enhance this area and provide colour on dull days like this.
I found this oak ‘s bark attractive, I had never seen it before.
I marvelled at the Arbutus and its stunning peeling bark. My Arbutus back home is still small, it is an Arbutus unedo. Arbutus unedo is one partner of the cross with Arbutus andrachne that gives this beautiful hybrid Arbutus andrachnoides which appears naturally where the two species overlap. I did covet the spreading growth and beautiful bark of this specimen but I did also realise the impracticalities of trying to climb into its branches and photograph the bees nectaring on the flowers. Small has certain advantages.
I also enjoyed the different Witch hazels blooming in the gardens. I really think Witch hazels are magic plants to produce such beautiful flowers in winter and I always admired them in the gardens in Scotland intending to plant them when I had a garden of my own.
Unfortunately, they need an acid soil and I would not want to torture a plant by planting it in my chalky soil.
This specimen was also marked as a “Pallida” but I do not know why it is much more pallid than the previous one, still gorgeous though.
I saw my first snowdrops of the season, perhaps some of mine will be up to welcome me when I get home.
Another white flower gracing the gardens was a flowering cherry! It seemed to be ignoring the dull. miserable, rainy weather and providing a mass of beautiful, delicate flowers, truly amazing!
It was not only the trees in flower that was providing interest, I loved the wandering trunks of the Magnolias.
The buds of the Magnolia were also appealing.
I became completely fascinated by these beautiful fluffy buds and continued to photograph them, trying to pose them in the most advantageous position. Then I saw the similarity – I was still taking photographs of fluffy things on branches! These were my substitute bees and bumble bees, very much lacking in a winter garden – no matter how beautiful.
The insect life was not visible but an English garden cannot be complete without its ducks.
We were just about to leave when a male pheasant came strutting out of the bushes. Such a beautiful plumage. Not the smartest of birds.
The other birds that were very much in evidence were the crows. They kept an eye on the picnic tables outside the restaurant to mop up any leftover morsels and monitored duck feeding knowing that young children were frequently not proficient bread throwers.
Truly a wonderful visit and I have only succeeded in showing a few of the highlights. I cannot miss out the excellent cafeteria and delicious pastries and a small but interesting area of plants for sale. They had entered into the spirit of the season and had a 50% reduced section – what an excellent way to end a visit to a garden, some more bee friendly plants at half price!