Winter is the bridge between years. It is a time to pause and see what in other seasons is a ripple and promise of new growth into a cascade of color and texture.
|Photo: Ruth Bourne|
In winter, you can clearly see the lines of your garden and consider where you might want to add height or interest with a planting or structure. You can note to the "warm spots" in your yard by observing in which areas the snow melts first…these are best places to plant bulbs because they will get an earlier start or for borderline plants that need extra warmth all year.
|Photo: Petr Jan Juračka|
This is time to prune deciduous trees— bare branches allow for a clear view of their natural form. For many shrubs, a good pruning done in winter—when plant energy is stored—will stimulate more vigorous growth, and a fuller, more flowery specimen in the spring. Of course, for the ikebana artist, it is great to preserve the branches for arrangements and some species like fruit trees and willows are excellent for forcing into indoor bloom. The closer to their natural bloom time that you cut the branches, the sooner they will open and the burst of color will be your reward for cold feet and fingers.