February 12, 2013

A Winter Garden

Even during stark winter there is beauty to be found in the garden. The circle of an urn, dark upon snow, has a massive geometry beneath the complex deep reds of sedum seed heads. Today I visited my friend Chris Esten, whose garden during the growing season is a thrilling place to see. I wrote about it in this blog post, if you'd like to see it in its glory. She is also The Green Reaper, with a great list of plants, some of which are in my own garden. 

Her winter garden is full of visual delights; I could see things unnoticed during summer, or, as in the case of this exfoliating tree, things that only happen in winter. The thin strips of bark expose a cool, smooth underlayer.

There are stems that glow a beautiful warm color in winter.

And stems that shoot skyward in curving exclamations. The enormous Paulownia plant makes a stunning statement even in winter.

The loose petals of hydrangea are supplemented by the crisp, richly colored forms of seeds. 

And here, a graceful flow of a hosta flowering branch shows its seed containers opened, and black seeds hidden inside.

Shrubs are protected by netting, and look like women in old fashioned hats with veils.

Conifers are bejeweled with icy droplets.

The flower buds of a magnolia are fuzzy cones that I thought were pussy willows, even though it was much too early for them. But no, magnolias form their buds in fall and carry these lovely forms all winter, holding within them the promise of spring. 


  1. Delightful finds...framed by your sensitive eye and thoughts...thank you, Altoon.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely compliment, R Henry.