After an unexpected snow storm, I desperately needed to seek color in the winter garden. While my garden has touches here and there, when I want to see tried and true examples, I tend to seek out a public garden or two. Public gardens are a great resource for inspiration as examples of what can be used at different times of the year, not only in public spaces but sometimes in the home landscape as well.
Our National Mall has several gardens that are accessible via Metro and often overlooked as people drift into museum after museum. I was enjoying the winter scape to see what gives winter a bit of interest as we patiently wait for Spring.Most people think of holly berries being red, however here is s yellow berried variety that caught my attention – stunning against the snow. This beauty is in front of the United States Botanic Gardens (of course)…Sometimes it is not just color, but the structural form that can add winter interest. This tree has a lot of twists, turns and regally stands out as the snow blankets its feet.Even the Birch trees offer form, texture and variegated color that can offer subtle winter interest. Mature Crepe Myrtles can also offer interesting cinnamon peeling bark as well.The coral bark of these twig dogwood shrubs also pops in the winter scape. The cultivar ‘Arctic Fire” is one of my favorites…it seriously pops like the coral bark maple. Not quite red, not quite orange….just a beautiful rich coral color…I can’t get enough of it, personally.The amazing thing about these berries is watching them disappear as the birds enjoy them. Planting for wildlife can also be a colorful experience. Just be careful that you do your research and not plant a berried plant that is invasive – the birds do not know the difference, but they can share the love (so to speak).Berried branches used in containers are a great way to liven up the garden room. Containers can be dressed in berried branches, colorful twigs, evergreen boughs, ribbons and small pieces of art. Just enough pop to be uplifting on those warm winter days between the snows.Using evergreens that might bloom in late winter also gives hope that Spring will come…if we are patient. This Mahonia is experiencing serious bud swell. Which means in a few weeks, it will look like fireworks landed at the tip of the stems, with a familiar fragrance that draws you in.Art in the garden, just like in the home can add so much to a naked area, a barren wall or can just be a conversation piece. This caught my eye and I could see the creative energy that went into the thought process of this piece. As I continue to desperately seek natural color in the winter garden, I also patiently await spring…..and it will not be soon enough. Are you desperately seeking winter color in the winter landscape ???? Visit a public garden and find inspiration for your little piece of this earth!!!by