Leaving the flowery lot to wax poetical about their roses and those super-full moon watchers to their nighttime vigils, the more Vorsprung Durch Technik of you may be pining after structure, clean lines, verticals and such like. The punctuation marks of this particular gardening grammar are shapely or evenly shaped evergreens that do not disappear in winter. Imagine bay pyramids standing sentinel in herb gardens now bereft of their basil, parsley , chives and chervil, or a lollipop of bay either side of French windows on to the terrace. Underplant these with heather at this time of year or primroses in spring....and if that sounds too taxing, try mulching the soil with coloured gravel or scrubbed shells.
But for those who like a long term project (and by definition which gardener does not?) why not turn your hand to a little topiary? There are masses of youtube videos and websites devoted to advice on how to turn your regular Box plant into a ball, your Yew into a cube and so forth. And although box or yew are the most frequently used evergreens for topiary there is nothing to stop you making teardrops from a Lonicera nitida or a spiral from a Lawson's cypress.
The other vogueish plant shaping is cloud pruning which hales from Japan, but does not
require a Japanese garden to look effective. It is a fabulous way of fitting a large tree into a small garden. The usual suspects work but other evergreen candidates that lend themselves to cloud pruning include any of the pine trees like the Scots Pine, the slow growing Ilex crenata/Japanese holly or normal holly plants. No one is expecting a Dr Doolittle lawn of clipped animals but it is always good to have a New Year's Resolution or two so planting something so there is a hobby that you can take up rather than give up feels like a good idea. In the meantime, the bay pyramid is a step in the right direction.....