Karen Chapman | , , , , , , , , || By
ColorI have both blue and orange containers in my garden and they look stunning in the winter landscape – far more dramatic than the charcoal grey or rustic green ones I also have. This glass sculpture by Jesse Kelly is not hollow so is weather proof in my PNW climate. Colored dogwood twigs would be another way to add color to a snowy scene but you would need a significant grouping of these to stand out. The colored bark of trees such as coral bark maple (Acer palmatum Sango Kaku), Bihou Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bihou’) or Pacific Fire vine maple (Acer circinatum ‘Pacific Fire’) would be sturdier and be easier to see. (Incidentally my white barked Himalayan birch trees (Betula utilis var jacquemontii) only stand out marginally in the winter garden when they are backed by tall evergreens. They are more eye catching in summer and fall.)
Textured barkRiver birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’) have become one of my favorite trees for year round interest. The peeling bark is outstanding. I have a clump of three multi-trunked specimens at the back of our home. In summer they mark the entrance into the meadow. In winter they stand as sculpture, perfectly framed by our back patio doors. The warm mahogany bark of the paperbark maple (Acer griseum) is a close second favorite, seen above adjacent to our little garden cabin. This is the scene we look out onto every day from the kitchen. The cabin porch is lit at night making it seem utterly magical. Notice how the blue cabin door stands out in the vignette also – unlike my golden conifers, blue conifers and broadleaf evergreen shrubs, which are all here but buried under snow. The cabin itself is a wonderful focal point, a reminder that structures can also be used as scene setters in the winter garden.
FormThis triple arbor anchors our island border. As a structure it stands out, but also its vertical and arched forms contrast with the surrounding garden which is mostly comprised of mounding or vase-shaped shrubs and trees. It clearly establishes a focal point and an invitation to explore.
If you’ve got snowy weather, grab your camera. You might be surprised at what you capture.
Welcome to My Garden Adventures
I'm a serious plant-aholic. In other words I'm usually covered in a layer or two of soil, I drive everywhere with a large tarp for impromptu plant purchases and I'm truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening.