We amateurs are not obliged to keep our gardens looking spruce and jolly in the winter. Some of us cut down our borders for tidiness’ sake, some hang on to withered plants and rhapsodise about seedheads and hoar frost, some think bare soil has a beauty of its own. Public gardeners don’t have those options; beds in parks need a winter suit as much as a summer one.
I admit I have seldom thought about the pressure on a public gardener to come up with new schemes to entertain his regular visitors winter after winter – nor the technical know-how required. From seed catalogue to bedding-out and from bedding-out to digging up and chucking out is a whole year’s programme.