A walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden is always joyful. My latest stroll inspired a poem. If poetry is not ‘your thing’, I hope you’ll enjoy the photos. The garden is beautiful in winter!
A Garden’s Beauty in Winter
It’s easy for a garden
To impress and look awesome
When, in summer, it’s full
Of foliage and blossoms.
The true test of the beauty
Of a garden’s design
Is revealed in the winter
When form and structure align.
When vines that are trained
In a lovely espalier
Expose their bare branches,
Their pattern’s displayed.
The shape of shrubs and of trees
With branches that weep
Add beauty and grace
While the garden’s asleep.
A garden of herbs in the summer
Grows fervently and overflows
Hiding the fence made of branches.
In winter, its construction shows.
The beds in the vegetable garden
Sit quiet, but not silent.
Tales of plants, past and future, are told.
Be still and hear their soundless riot.
The color in a winter garden
May not be bold and flamboyant
Like the purples and oranges of summer.
But there IS color waiting for your enjoyment.
Berries on hollies are dazzling red
So you don’t need to be blue.
Songbirds don’t eat them first.
And instead, leave the color for you.
Ivy and Pachysandra are as green as can be
Joining the juniper, pine, and the spruce.
Sometimes we forget and need winter’s reminder.
That green’s a color in the landscape, too.
Branches of dogwoods some yellow, some red
Are exclamation points of bold color
They shout, “Look at me!”
And, “Come closer to see my allure.”
Ornamental grasses add color and movement
And give the landscape some texture.
Their blades of beige and gentle rustling sound
Give a gardener in winter such pleasure.
And flowers, sure there are flowers
And seed heads to enhance to the scene.
Remember to save some pruning ‘til spring
For a winter landscape that’s keen.
Public gardens are loaded with ideas on improving the design of your winter landscape. Take a walk through a public garden near you, taking photos and jotting down notes. Then, get ready to garden with me!