Winter Whaaaat??

So, as many of you know, the Buffalo area, particularly the south of the city and its surrounding communities, are digging out from 7 feet of snow and now dealing with possible flooding that comes with temperatures rising to 65 degrees like they did today. This week has been a roller coaster ride, all starting with this incredible lake effect front that left an indelible impression on us all:

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So, even though Winter is still just under a month away, the subject at hand is SNOW. I figured this would be a perfect time to discuss a little garden concept called Winter Interest. 

I know, you are saying, “Winter What?!” When I said this in front of my friends, the puzzled, contorted look on their faces pretty much summed it up.

So, what the heck is Winter Interest?!

Winter Interest is another way you can keep some sort of aesthetics in your garden, even though the growing season is long over. It gives “interest” to empty snow-covered flower beds.

So, how do you “do” this Winter Interest?

Simple. It can be anything. Whether it’s a bird house in your garden, or some exotic grasses that have passed their prime, anything can create an amazing silhouette under a blanket of snow.

Examples of Winter Interest:

  • Trees- any, but the best are any kind of spruce for winter
  • Garden decorations– bird houses, bottle trees, bowling balls, wheelbarrows, ANYTHING
  • Grasses–reed grasses, zebra grasses, etc. Don’t trim these down– they look spectacular in the snow!
  • Evergreen and woody shrubs-mountain laurel, holly bushes, rhododendrons, arborvitae, boxwood–just to name a few.

Basically, anything that has some sort of character in the off-season that will pique the interest of passersby can be Winter Interest!

Here are a few pictures from my back yard last November 2013. The few inches I did get this year did not stay on the ground long enough to allow for any photo documentation.

My bluebird house that does not get any bluebirds, but it's from my childhood home and I love it.
My bluebird house that does not get any bluebirds, but it’s from my childhood home and I love it.

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My old childhood tricycle that has seen better days is now a planter and part of the Winter Interest around my house.
My old childhood tricycle that has seen better days is now a planter and part of the Winter Interest around my house.

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Snowmen are the best example of Winter Interest yet!
Snowmen are the best example of Winter Interest yet!

When Winter finally arrives, I will be doing some “Winter Interest” features from time to time when I venture out on my snowshoes or cross-country skis.

Think about what you would like to use as Winter Interest in your gardens. Giving a quiet garden a little attention is sometimes the thing you need to keep in the gardening spirit all year round!

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