December 17, 2013

Snow Play




I should be Christmas shopping
I should be writing Christmas cards
I should decorate my own home
I should begin to plan for Friday nights company party
Thus far..........I have not begun any of the above! Being in retail does that......

 When I awoke this morning, it was snowing, jumbo flakes and the sky was shadowy and dark, YES, a delightful diversion! This winter girl grabbed her garb, iPhone, and dog. "Let's go outside and play!" was met with a cheerful grin and a spirited tail wag.
 I like to study the shadows, lines, and the winter interest in my landscape. What needs my attention, what requires changing, etc. Take my hand, let's explore together
 The European Beech (Fagus) has particular beauty in winter. It's leaves do not drop until late March/early April as the new leaves are beginning to push forward. The coppery toned foliage is a bounty of winter interest and a brilliant hiding spot for songbirds.
 My husband's dismay expands when another bench is brought home. "Why on earth do you need a new bench when you never sit in those you have???"
"Easy, I like to look at them"
In winter their lines are beautifully enhanced with a mantle of snow
 But to me, all is enhanced with a dusting of snow
 An abandoned birds nest takes on the appearance of a giant snow cone
 When surrounded by flowers and vines, my gate post chickens are barely noticeable.
 This time of year they are center stage. These are actually wind mill weights turned gate post accruements.
 Silent and strong. Come summer the barn plays host to Amy Howard painting classes
 From all indications, we have had 10" thus far
 My massive boxwood chicken is so endowed with snow, she is barely recognizable.
 Always keeping my spent Hydrangea blooms intact for just this reason. Should you do the same, cut to the ground the end of March (in zone 5 that is)
 My old hitching post horse head is a bit player in the growing season, now he too shines.
 It is indeed sad to me how many gardens will be devoid of their ornamental grasses in the winter, when they can add visual interest and the hushed tones of rustling foliage. Do not cut down until early spring, or if safe, take a match to them. They go up and flame out in a second or two and this process mimic's natures prairie. Burnings adding nutrients to the plant and soil.

 Try heading out with a camera it will force you to stop and focus on the smallest of nuances, details that might not otherwise catch your attention.
 It is a great time to reexamine your gardens bones. The landscape should be appealing 12 months of year.
 Take some shots as normal, and then duplicate in black and white. With the latter, the lines of your landscape and it's bones take on stronger identities. Are your black and white photo's weak in details, shadows and texture? Take note and make changes come spring.


 Here are some remains of a favorite, Carrion Berry vine. In season, these berry globes are a true navy blue!
 Finials wearing fuzzy caps.......

I told you he was cheerful!!
 Wishing you Joy and a cheerful conclusion to your Christmas preparations!
Debra


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