Plants may go dormant in the winter, but do gardeners have to? Some projects actually are better-suited to the off-months according to author Lise Funderburg. In an article for the Garden Design she explains that gardeners sometimes mourn the end of the gardening season, but should look instead at this as an opportunity for planning! Just think, you can look at the bare bones of your gardens without thinking about pulling weeds or dragging out the watering hose. Funderburg explains that this is a good time to take a step back to see what’s working or not and make adjustments.
Landscape designer, Rosalia Sanni explains, “There is so much to look at in the summer, the smells, the sounds, the movement of wildlife, butterflies, and water. Once that life and activity fades away, what’s left behind is the garden’s structure.”
Take a walk around your property. Are there sightlines that you want to keep clear or are there places that you would like to screen out? In one direction you might want to “borrow” the view of a neighbor’s beautiful stone wall, but in another, there might be a giant water tower that would need to be obscured at all times. Take photos through the season and compare the “view.”
Winter is a time when your hardscaping really shines. Man-made or man-placed elements that primarily serve as backdrops during the growing season, including walls, fences, arbors, stones, patios, furniture, and containers all fall into the category of hardscapes. A gardener must certainly take into consideration how durable something is before subjecting it to Ohio’s winter of freezes and thaws. There have been a few casualties in my garden in the past years, but the wood and metal projects seem to enjoy the occasional coat of snow and ice. I bring in my “fragile” containers, but leave the colorful glass globes in place for a splash of color in the snow.
Are there some trees that need some pruning? Winter is a great time to take note of rubbing branches as well as damaged limbs. It’s time to get that garden journal out and make your first list of gardening tasks. It won’t be long before it’s time to break ground – as soon as it thaws.
Someone shared a great quote with me this week, “Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the year, for gardening begins in January, with the dream.”