Those of you who live in the northern hemisphere, experience a winter season pared to its bare essentials. And it is by no means all bad news. In this reduced landscape you have the advantage of seeing your garden with a particular clarity. Yes, you read that right. Now all the flowering plants have collapsed, this is the time to go outside and look at the structure of your garden. I love walking through the garden on these frigid days. Now I can see where I need a large shrub or fantasize about closing off a view to create more intimacy. My best ideas come now, when everything is stripped, when just the bones of the garden are revealed.
It’s been thirteen years since I began laying out this garden. More than any other time of year, it is winter when I see how plants have matured. It’s almost impossible to see growth in summer, with all the lushness of vegetation, but now, what is revealed are the stems, the branching patterns, shapes and proportions; the hedges, the stone walls, the tall graceful shrubs denuded of their summer frocks. Photos taken at this time of year, help me to dream and make plans for ways to improve my garden. Much of what I will do in spring and summer, will be because of time spent dreaming and reflecting on my garden in the winter.