I admit it. I have made many mistakes in my garden – wrong plants in wrong places, weeds allowed to run rampant, shrubs planted too close together – you get the idea.
But sometimes I get it right. Case in point: my winter views. When winter weather forces me inside, I still enjoy views of my landscape – a shrub grouping, bird feeders, our pond, and several lush greens containers.
How is the view from your windows? If they make you want to close the curtains, a few simple moves may help. Determine which windows you use most in winter and evaluate the existing scene at each. A garden bench with a small statue or a pot filled with greens can turn a barren border once overflowing with annuals and perennials into a delightful scene. A vast expanse of snow-covered lawn with zero appeal can become a blank canvas for a collection of bird feeders.
Arbors and trellises perform a supporting role in the summer as vines scramble up and over them but become focal points in the winter. Move a statue, once standing guard over a bed of ground cover, in front of the trellis or under the arbor to create a winter vignette.
Garden sheds, screened in summer by tall perennials and foliage-laden shrubs, come into full view in winter. Consider flanking the shed door with urns filled with branches, pine cones and berries. Hang some old garden tools scavenged from garage sales or a mirror mounted in an old picture frame on an outside wall.
Evergreens offer privacy and a backdrop for flowering plants in the summer but are gorgeous on their own when frosted with snow. Shrubs with unique branching or trees with exfoliating bark are also lovely views.
Ornamental grasses often stand tall throughout the winter. A collection of grasses – some with fine, others with coarse textures – is an appealing vision by itself. Go one step further and repurpose an obelisk from its summer home as a focal point in its midst.
Some existing focal points simply require some seasonal adjustments. Replace glass gazing globes with orbs made of ice. A childhood Radio Flyer wagon planted with colorful zinnias in summer can hold a winter fairy garden on a deck or patio.
Go on a treasure hunt through the landscape and discover other objects that can be called into service – old rusty metal pumps, sundials and fabulous flea market finds are all possibilities.
If it’s too cold or snowy to get outside now, take photos and make notes so you will have pleasing garden scenes next year. Otherwise, get out there and spice up your views for the rest of the winter. Garden with me!