Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arrangement: January

It's January and I can't help but think of spring. The decorations are away and the earliest of branches are being forced to bloom. I think the little bird above I created that states at his base Vernal, sums it up.

Above and below are some porcelain vessels that I made at my studio and forced some Forsythia in. Forsythia although, not loved by most professional gardeners is a bloom you can count on. I love that you can force it in December and continue all through the winter months to give you that cheery yellow as bright as a spring day.

The other winter show stopper here is Salix chaenomeloides or the giant Japanese Pussy Willow. These few small stems were picked from the mother plant in the shrub border out front and forced in one of my vessels with a flower frog attached.

This is just a taste of things to come folks. Old Man Winter, your days are numbered!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Most Beautiful Snowfall

It was one of those snowfalls that you dream about. You drift to sleep on a calm winter night to wake up to the most magnificent fluffy snow that has blanketed the earth.

It stuck to everything in the garden from seed-heads to grasses and evergreens. This is the importance in my opinion in leaving plant skeletons for the winter.

There are two schools of thought on this. Some gardeners like a cleaned-up fresh look for the cold months, relying on evergreens for structure. While others like myself love the winter interest not only from evergreens but from all the bones that are left in the gardens. You can make your own decision for which side of the fence you sit on.

But then you would miss out on snow clinging to Panicum seed-heads above and perched on Echinacea below.

Although, there is no denying the winter power of evergreens. The Norway Spruce above was planted as a seedling by the former owner of the house. Now it stands as a major focal point in our winter landscape.

Below are a trio of Gold Cone Junipers I planted this fall in the main perennial bed. Though covered in snow they still stand out as winter figures.

So this coming fall when you are cutting back plants and getting ready for the next winter just remember by leaving some key plants standing in your beds you are gaining a ton of interest in a fairly bare landscape.