January 21, 2012

The Winter Garden

 Many are surprised to hear that winter is my favorite season. Yes, I am a garden designer, one that is drawn to the muted colors, textures, whisper silences and the possibilities of the winter garden

When designing for a client winter is uppermost in the back of my mind. It is easy to attain a lovely garden in the summer months, but in climates such as Chicago, winter is nearly six months out of the year. All 5 senses should be equally engaged
The quintessential choice is evergreens. Great start! Do however think of the myriad of varieties, shapes and colors available to you, each play an important role

Boxwood forms after a fresh snow
Ornamental grasses should be allowed to remain upright, catching the wind and rustling

Water can be an integral component; the sound and movement entice birds and create mini ice formations
The Robin of the British Isles, chubby and charming

Shrubs with retentive berries. These are for us to enjoy as these varieties are disliked by birds 

Hardscapes such as gates and fencing

This morning, after a fresh snowfall, Cooper and I went about photographing examples of winter in my garden. Do note his all important color-coordination :-)
Here is my favorite view, off the drive. The centerpiece being our "pass-thru" from this garden to the pool, built by my husband Steve. Nightfall brings on glistening snow as it is lit from within. Additionally there is boxwood, an enormous birdhouse, containers, benches, the form of a weeping cherry and the remnants of summer; spent hydrangea blooms

A great exercise in designing your winter garden is to take a black and white photo, now. Black and white photography diverts your eye to the shadows and shapes which take center stage. Ideally it makes for an interesting photo

Or, is this more of what you see? Hmmmm.......get to work or call your friendly garden designer!

Back to my side garden,  a vintage cast iron horse head that resides in this container year round.

Other sculptures abound, catching snow. Peeking out of the far right of this photo is a wonderful winter plant, a Beech tree. Copper toned leaves remain until spring!

Seating.........so many varieties to choose from

 Here's a great opportunity for color, your containers; urns, hanging baskets, window boxes.......

A favorite home of mine is that of Ron Van Empel of the Netherlands

And the rear garden, all equally enchanting in winter with much to see, even in this diminutive space
Enjoy the season!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...