No one living in cold climates needs reminding that February is a tough time for gardeners. In February, social media is filled with photographs of summer dahlias, seed sowing, and an unspoken agreement not to focus on the grey, cold weather outside.
But February is not without its treasures. After all, February has some of the best sunrises (if you are awake early enough to enjoy them). No other time in the garden provides the gardener a better opportunity to see the “bones” or structure of the garden.
If you look out onto your February garden, and you can’t tell there is a garden under the blanket of snow, you might want to add more evergreen structure to help carry the garden through the cold season.
Thoughts About the Winter Garden
While I’m not immune to wishing for spring’s quick arrival and the return of the garden season, I have learned to appreciate the winter garden.
Let me share a few photographs that I took this morning to show you how things are holding up this season.
I’m glad I decided to hang the holiday orange garland on the Viburnum. I thought the birds or squirrels would eat the oranges, but that was wishful thinking. Even if the local wildlife doesn’t appreciate the garland, I love the pop of color.
Cold temperatures and sunshine are the perfect combinations for making icicles. These icicles hang from our second-story roof. They look especially pretty reflecting the morning sun.
Few spaces in my garden have enough sun to grow ornamental grasses, but I managed to find a sliver of sunshine at the far corner of the garden for this Overdam feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x Acutiflora ‘Overdam’).
I love how the wispy seed heads billow in the wind. This little vignette is one of my favorite winter scenes.
The boxwood and arborvitae provide the main structure of this winter garden. Even covered in snow and ice, this space still looks like a garden, and it’s a welcome sight in winter.
This arbor leading to the back garden is covered with honeysuckle and an Akebia quinata ‘Shiro Bana’ vine. Akebia is a fast-growing vine hardy in zones 5-9. It is advertised as being “semi-evergreen” in warmer areas. Apparently, my vine didn’t get the “warmer area” memo. It stays evergreen during our Michigan winters.
We’ve had a fair amount of snowfall this season, and I couldn’t be happier. I think the snow makes the garden look beautiful, especially in February.
I used to dread the snow. Now that I’m working from home because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I’ve discovered I love the snow when I don’t have to drive in it.
You can see the tracks of the rabbit that took up residence under the deck this winter. It’s fun to watch his travels.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my February garden. If you are a fellow cold-climate gardener, I hope you are staying warm. I know you’re counting down the days until the garden season. Until then, think happy garden thoughts!
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