Sunday, December 11, 2011

In The Eye Of The Beholder

As I drove up my driveway in the back garden, my granddaughter, who I had just picked up from school, said "your garden is so bare grammie."

Structures and grasses add interest in the winter garden.

This is the same area in July with the pathway and bench only visible from another angle.

Trees also add structure to a garden even a small garden needs winter interest.  The Pagoda Dogwood is a very nice shape even when bare.

This is the south border and I guess it does look sort of bare.  When you have roses there are only sticks in the winter.  I do not have a groundcover on this side so maybe some small grasses would add interest!

This same garden is lush during the summer but it obviously needs some fall and winter interest.

I left the Miscanthus Udine up again this year, can't bear to cut it down when it looks so good.  However, with the first heavy snow it will flop and be more difficult to cut down in the spring.

The structures seem to speak to us during the colder months reminding us of what is to come.

Pink Meidiland in the same island garden

 Clematis Fireworks

Lavon Lilies and phlox also in the island bed

The boxwood by the back patio looks lush and healthy.  Maybe I should spray this with Wilt Pruf to prevent any browning.

This is Green Velvet Boxwood and I find it hardier than the Chicagoland Boxwood that I have out in front.

I will cut Rainbow Knockout back so it does not break in the snow, not too much but enough to give it stability.

Two varieties of parsley are all that remain in the veggie bed.

The garden is asleep but it should still be noteworthy even in the cold weather, conifers, structures, benches, grasses, standing seedheads, fences, pathways, raised planting beds, trellises, decorative sheds and obelisks all add charm to a four season garden.


Balisha said...

Thank you for showing your sleeping garden. I love the simple beauty of winter in the garden. It is so restful. Balisha

Alison said...

I love the pergola on your patio! It's hard to see in the shot where it's covered up with lots of green growth. I bet during the growing season it makes a very protected and sheltered spot. It was very interesting to see all these contrasts.

Lona said...

Your garden has such lovely bones to it that it has charm even when it is sleeping. Such a contrast from the summer blooms till now. We will be reminiscing over summer blooms this winter. I love you Fireworks clematis.

scottweberpdx said...

I think your garden looks wonderful for this time of have lots of great structures (and structural plants). My garden, on the other hand...looks a mess!

Diana LaMarre said...

I love seeing the seasonal contrast. It always amazes me what it under the frozen ground just waiting to come to life.

allan becker said...

Great post, and a wonderful photo story!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha,

I know what you mean, all the anxiety is gone from the garden in the winter, so much going on in the summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Alison,

You are right, everything is covered up in the summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

The Fireworks clematis is an early bloomer, not great at reblooming so I have Autumn clematis planted with it.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


Your grasses always look great! Many of them can be left up except some of the Miscanthus.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

I have got a lot under the frozen ground which I need to remember when I plant something new.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Allan!

Jenny said...

You appreciate the color when it happens growing your own garden. Winter is a little sad but all things need a rest. xo Jenny


Your garden looks fabulous in any season. I know what you mean about not wanting to cut back the grasses. Mine are more than a bit unruly but they look so cool this time of year.

BernieH said...

Your post really does highlight the seasonal changes. We don't see such enormous seasonal changes here as you know, so it's always interesting to see how other's gardens are put to bed for the winter.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jenny

I am learning that winter has its own color and it is an adventure to try to bring this out in the garden.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Grace,

I am going to concentrate on grasses that do not have to be cut down in the fall.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

I know Bernie, it is difficult to imagine the change that we have from season to season, much more dramatic than in Australia.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I loved seeing the winter vs summer in parts of your garden. The colors of the flowers are so bright and cheerful! You do have lots of winter interest though. I've been really working on that too, and it is so much nicer than looking out on sticks and dirt all winter :)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen, While getting ready for GBBD, I was looking at some August photographs and thinking that the transformation from summer to winter was almost unbelievable. Looking out the window right now, you might never guess that the garden was once for lush and green. It is fun to see the transformation as you have presented it here.

Rosie Nixon Fluerty said...

Your garden looks terrific for this time of year........I wish mine looked like this only it's a soggy mess. I'm lovin that miscanthus so much!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine,

I could really see that one area on the south side this year, needs some winter color.


Andrea said...

Your garden is so beautiful at their prime of growth, but I can see it can also be as artistic during winter, depending on how one sees it, yes, the beholder! I can't imagine the lots of work to get off the spent matter when they dry. In this part of the world, where we dont have your four seasons, we have them until old age, when they become lanky and not so nice-looking. At least in your case, winter finish them, and it is easy to start again.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Rosie,

We have had some very weird weather here, lots of rain instead of snow so I am not sure what this will do to the growth cycle.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

Our grass is still very green, but I know this can change quickly. It is very strange weather, rain not snow.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Andrea,

I guess it is unusual to keep plants year round but it does happen in certain parts of the country. It definitely is a different type of gardening.


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Even your sleeping garden is beautiful, Eileen!

Betty819 said...

Amazing how different gardens look like when you compare them out of bloom with no signs of foliage/bloom. Makes me sad, but I am sure we feel the need for the 3 month rest.

Betty819 said...

I don't know what type of grasses our former neighbor has but they take the chain saw and cut their grasses down to the ground level before Winter sets in and it comes back beautiful in the Spring. I recall the neighbor said he always wore long sleeve shirts and long pants and wore thick work gloves when cutting the grasses as even dry the blades of the grasses are very sharp and will cause some serious cuts . Eileen, do you cut yours back each year? Ever divide them?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Betty,

I try to choose grasses that I can leave up for winter interest and then cut them down to about six inches in the spring. The miscanthus are difficult to leave standing as they flop with snow. Paicums pop back up after the snow melts.