Only ten days ago, I was in the garden, photographing the foliage of evergreen perennials of which there are many. I rejoice in those, loving the contrast of the green foliage against the brown of the fallen leaves that I never rake out of my beds. I let them decay just as Mother Nature does in her woodlands to enrich the soil.
As I look out the window today at the swirling, blowing, continuing snow, I see a winter wonderland that will supposedly last through tonight. I’m sure that others are seeing snow shovels or snow blowers and ice melt in their heads. The snow started on December 30 and, with the exception of New Year’s Day, it has continued to snow. I was not surprised to learn that January is typically our snowiest month.
Naturally, I’ve been back outside, photographing the snowy landscape. One of the reasons I rarely cut back most of the perennials and ornamental grasses in the fall is the beauty they provide as snowy sculptures. In this weather, they also provide food (the seedheads) and shelter for birds.
You will notice that photographs taken while it’s snowing look they’ve been taken in black and white. Such conditions provide the perfect opportunity to assess the “bones” of the landscape because the eye is not distracted by color. I love focusing on the form and tracery of tree branches, the obfuscation of an ancient basketball pole and hoop that is mostly disguised with a climbing Schizophragma, and the transformation of Hydrangea clusters into large snowballs. All of these are in one of my back beds that is next to the driveway.
In part of the fence bed, I can admire the twining pattern of Bittersweet, the branches of a climbing rose, the snow laden branches of a Picea abies ‘Acrocona’, and the flowing form of some ornamental grasses.
In the front beds, there is almost as much action as in the summer – snowy tree branches, laden evergreens, upright perennials, flowing grasses – take your pick. Impossible now to see the evergreen foliage of ten days ago but when the snow melts, and it will, the perennial greens will be waiting for me.
What’s waiting in your garden?