Archive for January 20th, 2011


The busiest, most colourful corner of the garden in winter is the birdfeeder. A steady stream of birds flit in and out, brightening some otherwise dreary days. I placed our Christmas tree near the feeder so that it can enjoy a second career as a bird shelter. It looks just as pretty decorated with snow as it did with Christmas ornaments.


The winter garden isn’t as eye-catching as it will be in June, but with the crisp, white backdrop of snow, there are still interesting textures and shaped to admire. I usually just turn my birdbath dish upside-down, and I like the little white cap it wears all winter.


My resident garden raccoon looks pretty cute too, peeking out from a snowy blanket.


I never clean up my garden in the fall. I leave all the seedheads and litter in place until the spring so that the birds can forage for any bounty the plants might offer, and insects and other tiny critters can shelter under dead leaves. But I am also a beneficiary. The stalks and seedheads add interest to the yard. Shown above is a coneflower, with swirls of grass blades in the background.


And here is Coreopsis verticillata “Moonbeam”. It’s delicate stems make a lacy pattern in the snow.


The largest coreopsis in my garden is Coreopsis grandiflora “Mayfield Giant”


The flat heads of the sedum capture little pillows of snow.


I planted this little corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana), currently about 2 feet tall, near the birdfeeder with an eye to providing winter interest and perching spots as the plant gets bigger. I bought it late in the season, and it was hard to tell how healthy it was, since it’s already twisted and gnarled-looking. If it doesn’t survive the winter, I’ll try again in the spring.

There is still a bit of colour to be found, even in winter. Below, the rose hips add a touch of red.


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