As the Christmas decorations get put away for another year the house can seem a little bare. We’ve got used to the shiny glass baubles, the festive mantle and those special ornaments that we look forward to displaying each holiday. After a few days, however, I find myself enjoying the less flamboyant decor, the quieter colors and the uncluttered surfaces.
The winter garden is just like that. From spring until fall there is a kaleidoscope of colors that jostle and weave with containers, fountains and garden art. I love it. But as I went into the garden this morning the frosty scene reminded me that winter has its own quiet beauty. A friend recently commented that a winter photograph I had shown her looked as though it had been taken in black and white. In fact it hadn’t but stripped even of verdant greens the landscape was a mix of frosty white and the sepia tones of aged grasses.
Our little cabin shown above is tucked into a border of rich sunset tones that warm the garden from spring until autumn; golden Coreopsis daisies, copper spirea and red-tipped grasses mingle with salmon Exbury azaleas and black eyed Susan’s. Yet even in winter the color palette is hinted at as the warm cedar shingles echo the cinnamon bark of our young paperbark maple (Acer griseum) adding contrast to the conifers.
Perhaps what I enjoy most about our winter garden are the shadows and silhouettes. From the low growing barberries to the tall golden locust trees, their bare branches have become ghostly silhouettes that sparkle in the watery sunshine. The layers of trees and shrubs are still clearly defined as are their unique shapes. Large boulders and our triple arbor also play an important role in the winter garden, adding visual interest beyond the plant life.
March will bring daffodils and April will see the emergence of the garden at large. But for now I’m going to enjoy the quieter moments.
May 2015 bring you peace in your garden, your home and your heart.