Meleah MaynardThe truth about ‘winter interest’

Many, many thanks to everyone who took the time to send kind notes and words of wisdom after reading my last blog post about my broken teeth. I’ve already put some of your suggestions into practice and, I have to say, I’m feeling a little bit more relaxed already. In fact, I got the idea for this post the other day while sipping tea and looking out the window at the heaps of snow and ice in our backyard rather than running all around doing whatever it is I do all the time.

An empty cattle trough looks silly overflowing with snow while the nearly buried fireplace adds interest to the slippery pavement near the back door

An empty cattle trough looks silly overflowing with snow while the nearly buried fireplace adds interest to the slippery pavement near the back door

Bird feeders make attractive additions to any winter landscape

Bird feeders make attractive additions to any winter landscape

Yes, fellow gardeners, as the magazines tell us, tis the season for enjoying all that “winter interest” we’ve created by following advice to plant things like colorful red-twigged dogwoods and unusual evergreens in a landscape bedazzled with sturdy structures and planters overflowing with cute pinecones and twigs and whatnot. Everything looks so lovely in those glossy photo spreads.

Evergreens offer a pop of color against the bright snow in winter gardens

Evergreens offer a pop of color against the bright snow in winter gardens

 

But we who garden in parts of the country where actual snow falls, not just a fairy dusting but, say, 10 inches or so, fairly often, followed by icy rain and slush, know the truth about winter interest. In the absence of photo stylists, props and camera crews, it simply doesn’t exist.

Leave ornamental grasses standing to provide structure in winter gardens

Leave ornamental grasses standing to provide structure in winter gardens

Don’t get me wrong; snowy gardens are beautiful, just not in the way magazines portray them. But let’s pretend for a minute that there is a magazine willing to run a winter story that tells it like it is.
Articles could offer tips on things like how to spread fresh snow around the yard to obscure all those frozen yellow dog pee circles. A short sidebar might be: “3 Strategies For Chipping Frozen Poo From Snow Banks.” I’m sure a lot of us could submit photos that readers could relate to. Here are some of mine, and I’ve even written captions.

Have you got some “winter interest” photos to share? If so, please email them to GardenDrum!

Arctic willow branches bend and break under the weight of snow and ice as the back gate only opens part way because it’s frozen

Arctic willow branches bend and break under the weight of snow and ice as the back gate only opens part way because it’s frozen

 

Like this post? Why not share it with a friend?


Meleah Maynard

About Meleah Maynard

My name is Meleah Maynard and I garden in crazy-ass cold, zone 4 Minneapolis, Minnesota. My first book, co-authored with Jeff Gillman, Decoding Gardening Advice: The Science Behind the 100 Most Common Recommendations, was recently published by Timber Press. I don't have a hort degree. I'm a longtime journalist and master gardener who loves asking people questions, doing research and learning something new every day. I hope you like my blog here on GardenDrum and you read my full blog at Everyday Gardener

3 thoughts on “The truth about ‘winter interest’

  1. grim on said:

    Sorry Meleah,but i would luv frozen dog doop right now,in Aust its not one of our best chores in the festive season to pick up said item.
    Kind of curry like,oh well you started the chat on poop 🙂
    I find it amazing that you can garden under that snow all the best to ya.
    G.

  2. Mary Gray on said:

    I am just stumbling on this post months after it was published. All I can say is, “right on!” Thank you for your candor!

Leave a Reply (no need to register)