I have been unusually sequestered lately, and restricted to viewing my garden from indoors, a situation not unusual in Canadian winters. In addition to unusual factors, Southern Ontario was hit by a heavy snowstorm last week. While lying about feeling sorry for myself and looking out the windows, the seasonless beauty of a garden hit me again.
A garden with the right types of plants and features in it never bores and still gives pleasure even under heavy snow. In fact, certain plants and elements become sculpture under a heavy white blanket. No garden design planned for Southern Ontario should fail to take account of what the garden will look like under snow!
These are the things that add joy to the view of snow in my world:
Large evergreens Their snow-laden boughs are emblematic of Christmas and of the beauty of winter at its best.
Boxwood hedges Boxwoods frame and define the garden in summer, and then remain to frame and shape the features of a property in winter. I have them on either side of the front porch to soften the porch edges, and across the far side of my driveway to delineate the parking area. I have added new hedges across one end of my pool garden to complement and frame the floral display. Mine look luxuriant with snow this year (above photo), though ideally they ought to be wrapped in burlap during these coldest months.
Evergreens with a unique growth habit such as Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Spreading Blue Spruce, Picea Pungens Glauca Procumbens and Weeping Nootka False Cypress, to name just a few. Dwarf Alberta Spruce forms a smooth, white, inverted cone in heavy enough snow!
Sedum, Autumn Joy I have mentioned my preference for leaving this perennial unclipped in autumn so that I can enjoy its lovely shape in the winter garden and here you can see what I mean.
Clipped and shaped Yew This overgrown and ancient beast is not my favourite plant, and would certainly have been removed by now if my property were smaller. However, its one redeeming season is winter in which its unusual way of capturing snow entertains.
Globe Blue Spruce Standard Picea Pungens Glauca “Globosa” Its unique globe-shape held high above the drifts, catches its own snowy tuft.
Planters and winter-worthy outdoor furniture Snow may pile up on it, or it may simply add a feature that complements the snow. Whether empty or filled with evergreen boughs and decor items, outdoor planters catch snow and display it in unique ways.
Certainly this limited list represents my own view out the windows on this snowy Saturday in the middle of February. What do you love to see snow pile up on in your garden? Please share in the comments area below.