A New Year
The cold earth slept below,
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around, with a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow,
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.
Shelley's poem about winter paints a desolate landscape and sounds like a dirge for the old year.
The summer exuberance of our gardens in the old year seems a long time ago and next spring's flowers seems to be an eternity away.
What can flower gardeners do when their perennials' roots are sleeping the winter away?
Beauty In Simplicity
It is not easy to be a flower lover in the depths of winter. But this is a good time to look out of the window and enjoy the minimalism of our landscape.
We can assess our evergreen plantings and evaluate the hardscape - arbors, arches, paths, structures that cast beguiling shadows, trees with trunks, bark and branches that are pleasing and so on.
When the soft growth has vanished the hard bones of our gardens are revealed. Without color to distract us we can look at balance and symmetry and the more subtle gifts from Mother Nature - holly berries, twigs, frosted felted leaves...and start thinking of all the flowers to come in this brave New Year.