For much of Australia, July is the coldest month of the year and when the garden takes on its winter mode.
Some people may find this a bit boring but now is the time that the success or otherwise of your garden planning and layout comes into play.
The choices you have made also show whether or not you have done your homework.
Winter gardens certainly have a different appearance to those of other seasons but they can still be interesting as well as colourful if you really look at them.
Some of the plants we have here in Melbourne are: Daffodils (yes, they are actually a winter bloomer, despite what you thought); camellias, hellebores, perennial grasses (some of which have lovely seedheads during this season, particularly my zebra grass), cinerarias, primulas and lots more.
I also love the look of bare trees with their lacy branches.
The better your garden layout is, the more interesting will be your winter garden. Hedges can do it as well as garden structures.
These latter can be found in hundreds of variations, obtainable either from nurseries or on the internet.
Depending on the style of your garden, you might choose Greek goddesses, angels, fairies, birdhouses, bird baths and nesting boxes, fountains, archways, topiary plants, nice garden furniture, wall or fence ornaments, recycled stuff - actually anything at all that takes the eye.
We have a number of sky-blue items in our garden, including painted pots. Blue blends and contrasts nicely.
You could have any colour but keep the one colour theme going throughout and you will have a continuity of things for the eye to follow.
Some of our garden visitors have loved the blue so much that they have taken the idea home to their own garden.
Recently, we made a visit to Red Cow Farm at Sutton Forest in the NSW Southern Highlands. Their winter garden incorporates many of the things I am talking about here.
There are many others throughout the country. Visiting them will give you ideas to adapt to your own patch.
Books from your local library can also give you inspiration. You will be surprised at what you find.
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