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  • Writer's pictureKATE REFINE DESIGNS

Gardens in Winter

As a Midwest gardener, I secretly enjoy the winter - it's a time I don't have to be doing the 'work' in the garden. Rather, winter allows me the time to be productive in my idleness by daydreaming of what the possibilities of the spring could portend for my landscape. I often find myself staring out at my winter garden, taking stock of the garden beds.

There are certain plants that I love in the spring and summer for their flowering, and others in the fall for their leaf color, but some really seem to do their thing and look great in the winter garden. Hyrdrangeas are one such plant. There are several types of Hydrangeas, but the ones that have caught my eye this winter are the Hydrangea arborescens and Hydrangea paniculata. Their dried flower heads in winter look beautiful above the snow covered gardens. Plus, they give structure and depth to the landscape.

Some plantings - like the varieties of Cornus sericea, or red twig dogwoods, (below) are outstanding in the winter garden because of their beautiful bark. Winter seems to be their time to shine.

Red Twig Dogwoods doing their thing in winter.

The bark of the Syringa reticulata, Japanese Tree Lilac, (below) with its shiny, peeling bark, makes a beautiful statement in the winter garden. Plus, the tree's form, it's low branching habit, really allows you to look closely at it's winter beauty.

Japanese Tree Lilac in winter.

The outstanding display of the plantings of Gingko biloba 'Princeton Sentry', against their evergreen backdrop (shown below) really highlights how beautiful a well designed garden can be in winter. The whitish bark, seems to glow in front of the deep green of the spruces and pines.

If in looking out your window, you think some more winter interest could be added to your garden, we can get to work now planning the perfect plant for your spot.

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