When my kids were young, we used to enjoy leisurely walks down the quiet lanes from the English countryside. I am sure my mind often wandered off to its own private ramble:”What will we have for dinner? Do I want to buy milk on the way home?” Nevertheless the kids were completely immersed in the moment. They’d dash through the puddles with gusto, point out the glowing orange lichen clinging to the side of a tree and cease to touch the velvety moss draped over the ancient stone walls. They were not concerned with the past or the near future. Rather they could enjoy the gift and take pleasure in what it had to offer.
The art of armchair gardening. If that is the idea of gardening in December, then I am right with you! There is nothing quite like sitting on your favorite armchair with a roaring fire and enjoying your garden through the window.
Tracking is important to great garden design. We could be so busy digging, weeding and pruning that we neglect to look up and see the wider perspective.
When a snowy blanket covers the floor, we focus on the silhouettes and shadows from the garden without the distraction of color.
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Time to take notes. What type of winter highlights are there in your garden? This is the opportunity to take notes and photos of what works and what doesn’t.
Structures like arbors, pergolas and fences become prominent landscape attributes even if covered in snow. Benches can appear just as enticing in winter as they did in summertime.
A splash of color creates an instant focal point — and it doesn’t need to come from plants.
This winter-hardy glass sculpture could be enjoyed year-round; the cool blues work beautifully with the background of evergreen trees.
Planting thoughts. When it comes to plants, redtwig dogwoods (Cornus sericea), evergreen trees and shrubs, and winter-hardy blossoms, for example feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora), are favorites for winter landscape.
I discover that producing winter vignettes is significantly more powerful than simply putting one conifer here and there. For instance, this stand of redtwig dogwoods seems all the more striking to be placed facing the ghostly quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides).
Winter container gardens. In just a couple of minutes it is possible to liven your container gardens to be all set for the holidays. Simply tuck in a couple of decorations, cones and cut evergreen boughs.
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Apple Bird Feeders
Feed the birds. Remember your feathered friends! I include Parney cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lacteus) within our winter garden simply because the robins like the fruit so much. If you do not have lots of natural food sources for the birds, then consider adding a feeder. Maintain a shallow dish of water available for them also.
Bring your garden inside. Many bulbs could be forced inside to bloom in just a couple weeks. Fragrant paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) are a favorite choice and so simple to grow.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs can be forced in the exact same way and result in a stunning holiday display, or you can give them as presents to family members and friends.
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So pull up your chair to the fire and look out in your garden. You’ve worked hard in it all year — now it’s time to love all you’ve accomplished.
Grab your personal computer rather than your spade and begin creating ideabooks for following year. But put an extra log on the fire first.