I know – you’re in a rush to get out there and start planting and pruning! But before you get carried away, before all that white fluffy stuff disappears, bundle yourself up and step outside for a few moments. Take your camera along.
Now, just look around you at your garden. What does it say to you? Is it appealing to the eye even in the bleak vastness of winter? Is your imagination sparked by the snowy hills and shadows cast by majestic trees? Do you see whimsy in the waving tall grasses that have withstood the throes of ice storms? Do you need to make some changes before next winter? If your garden looks like a white vastness of nothing, consider making some changes this spring to invite the viewer to be astonished at your winterscape next Fall.
This is our tiny bush in the ice storm at Christmas
Start with the basics, the framework of your garden. You can’t see the shoots of beautiful blooms yet, only the bare skeleton of something about to happen. In order to attract more than a mere glance during what, for many of us, is a loooong freezing time from November to April, we need things happening even in the dormant time. Take photos of your garden from every angle, especially where the garden is visible from the driveway and front room. Are there any bare patches? You want to be beckoned even when the temperature says, “Don’t be crazy. Stay inside with a hot pot of tea!”
If you have bare patches devoid of any interest, try to envision what would fill the area well. What draws you into a garden that you don’t currently have in yours? If you’re stuck for ideas, take a drive around the neighbourhood. If you’re hibernating, bless you, and start a Pinterest board of gardens that inspire you.
(Check out my personal Pinterest board called Garden Designs. I started this last year to keep me inspired). You may not have a large area to work with, but even a small garden can be inviting in winter.
A few ideas of things to add for interest:
Bushes retain their shape and the branches hold snow quite well to form a lovely orb.
Mounding perennials will peek up through the snow like many fingers breaking through winter.
A statue or other art form sends its own unique invitation to linger.
Tall, dry grasses are one of my favourite things in winter. Their flowing stalks wave a promise of spring and the contrasting gold against white is magnificent.
If you have room, an arbor is a beautiful welcome, tall above the snow, even if you daren’t venture out. Maybe you’ll cover it with a vine in spring. The dried vine in winter will tell its own tale.
If you’re a lover of wildlife, consider a few bird feeders or squirrel banquets on rustic outdoor tables. The furry and feathered guests will be grateful and offer endless hours of entertainment in appreciation.
Once the flowers are gone, cover your hanging baskets with evergreens and sprinkle bird seed on top of the snow-covered dirt. Our chickadee loved this.
Colour can add a delightful change against a clean, blank canvas. Garden Centres which are open year round, will carry many interesting ornaments and colourful statuaries.
A focal point should keep you going through the harsh months and keep you excited for the new life in spring. Stay true to what you love and all your visitors will love your garden too.
Our bistro set on the front porch, awaiting tall cold drinks and hot summer nights. You can see the frozen Burning Bush to the left, covered in ice.
Chin up! We’re almost there!