Maine Gardener: New book suggests you design your garden for the most unlikely season – winter
If a garden is beautiful in winter, chances are it will be just as beautiful the rest of the year.
This is the premise of “Winterland: Create a Beautiful Garden for Every Season” by Cathy Rees of Blue Hill, with photographs by Lisa Looke.
If homeowners like what they see in the winter when the perennials are dead and the deciduous trees are leafless, that beauty will only be enhanced when the leaves appear and the flowers begin to bloom, Rees said at the time. a telephone interview. âIn winter, the garden is made of contrasts, light and shadows,â she said.
While she encourages people to spend as much time as possible outdoors during the winter, she suggests that they design a winter garden in such a way that it looks good for someone who is outside. inside the house and look around – especially from places like the kitchen sink, home office, or exercise room, where people are likely to spend a lot of time.
The book is divided into five sections: design, create contrasts, beautify, maintain and share the garden with others, including wildlife.
One design tip that struck me is his suggestion to plant a deciduous tree from a distance so that the branches contrast with winter sunrises and sunsets, which are generally more stunning and more durable in winter than other times of the year. Rees also describes how trees can be pruned to create exciting contrasts when there are no leaves, and how shrubs can be planted to create interesting textures whether they are covered in snow or not.
A garden doesn’t have to be particularly large to create elements that look great in winter. Adding a focal point – whether it’s a shrub, artwork, or piece of furniture – just 10 or 15 feet from the house will work on a small lot, said Rees. And with the introduction of more miniature plants, homeowners have a lot of options.
âWinterlandâ includes a few hundred photos, most of them taken in winter, late fall, or early spring, which are a big part of the fun of the book. Rees and photographer Lisa Looke didn’t know each other until they started working on the project together, but Rees was familiar with Looke’s photos for the nonprofit Wild Seed project. Looke also manages the Wild Seed Project image library. Rees said she worked on the book for three years, much of that time spent hanging out in the winter with Looke to get the photos that would illustrate the points she wanted to make.
Rees is a professional gardener – she said she wouldn’t go so far as to call herself a landscaper. Interestingly, the owners aren’t there to view the gardens in the winter for most of the gardens she looks after. Rees is also the founder and volunteer of Native Gardens of Blue Hill, a four-acre site started four years ago.
I only have one bone of contention with Rees. She says that in Maine, winters can last seven months – seven months! – while I claim they only last five. It calculates winter from when deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall until they collect them in the spring, a period that can extend from mid-October to mid-October. may.
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer who gardens in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at: [emailÂ protected]
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