Winter Gardening means many various things to many different people. It holds a beauty all its own even though the glorious greens and colorful blooming riot of the past season are but a memory. This is when gardeners can really view the “bones” of their garden and its structures, the underlying composition ordinarily concealed by plant growth. It is the time of year to assess, put away, tidy up and begin the planning for the next spring. To everything there is a season and this is the season to reflect and rest. After a wintry walk, there’s nothing like snuggling cozy by the fire with a steaming mug surveying a snowy garden.
But a gardener’s soul gets restless during these short days and needs some distractions and amusements to fill the hours. Take a few moments to view the winter gardens, inside and out, of a special group of gardeners – The Garden Charmers.
There’s just something about a fresh snow that brings out the kid in all of us! Gray, drab dormant gardens become magical covered by a blanket of white. Your yard is transformed into a picture postcard. Under that insulating layer, plants are protected and gifted with moisture they need, even in the winter months. Heather of New House, New Home, New Life has a beautiful garden during the growing season, but loves her “wedding cake” garden after it snows. But no one loves that snowy garden more than her new Jack Russel terrier! Come on a little garden walk about as she chases her pooch.
Garden art topped with snow is even more beautiful, like icing on a cake! Lines and shapes are enhanced and the everyday becomes spectacular. When you live in Ontario, Canada with five or six months of winter, ways to extend garden enjoyment are essential. Leaving garden art out year round is Melissa’s solution at The Empress of Dirt. With such brief summers, her garden art does double duty by continuing to make her garden attractive when the weather turns. And these garden art pieces are all made by Melissa herself! You can find dozens of great projects on her blog that are inexpensive and simple to make but look like a million bucks! Take a snowy garden tour and see for yourself!
Sometimes a little time off is a wonderful thing. Are you someone who welcomes winter because it gives you a gardening break? Amy of A Healthy Life For Me totally understands your perspective. But before you take that winter vacation, make sure to clean up and put things in good order. As a result, your work will be so much easier in the spring. Amy has compiled a list of winter garden chores that, once done, will let you enjoy a happy hiatus. There are even some great tips for keeping your home flock of chickens happy and dry. Check that list twice and then relax!
Need help selecting plants that will give your garden year-round beauty and winter interest? Check out the wonderful video Lynne created for her blog, Sensible Gardening and Living! A must-see before planning your landscape, Lynne spells it all out for you, including plant lists. With the proper planning, your garden can look as serene and beautiful as hers does in this picture!
Although the winter garden is a sight to behold, the snow and ice will send you back in the house before too long. Maybe you have a porch, large windows or part of a garage that can be converted into your own private garden oasis. Barb of Our Fairfield Home and Garden changed the back of the garage into a sun-filled sanctuary. This little room is filled with enough houseplants, blooming bulbs and garden projects to wile away the winter!
The Firewood Poem
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for logs ’tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold
Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter’s cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.
~ author unknown
Sempervivum, fondly known in the gardening world as Hens and Chicks, actually need the winter downtime. Jacki of Drought Smart Plants explains how these amazingly tough plants survive winter temperatures and come back stronger than ever! Better read her article before you rip out a perfectly healthy plant that was just taking a break!
Did you know that you can grow microgreens and sprouts indoors? Stephanie of Garden Therapy tells you all the ins and outs in her articles, complete with easy directions and lovely pictures! Add nutritious, home-grown greens to your salads and dishes right when they are most expensive to buy! And, all you need are some seeds, a recycled container or two and a window sill!
Carol, The Gardening Cook, has some great advice for bringing houseplants in and caring for them after their summer vacation outdoors. Her practical tips will help keep your plants looking fantastic! Houseplants improve indoor air quality and provide an outlet for gardening while you wait for spring. They add that touch of green to your home that gardeners so need over a long winter.