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Winter a Time for Garden Preparedness
It is helpful to visualize your winter garden as the summer garden stripped back to its bare bones. The importance of attractive and clean lines and clear delineation of space cannot be over emphasized. The plants, structures and walkways which remain after the showy spring blooms are long gone, the perennials and bulbs of summer and fall have been put to bed for the winter season is the true framework of your garden.
The winter garden doesnít have to be black and white, or even just boring green and brown. It must rely largely on shape and solid structures to demonstrate its basic beauty but can and should also have spots of bright color or whimsical highlights to add visual interest.
Consider the shape and design of your garden shed, for example. Perhaps a miniature pagoda might be suitable, even if it is just a hint of roofline shape to bring Japan to the mindís eye. Maybe a tiny gingerbread cottage would add just the right touch of whimsy. Through the use of outdoor heating accessories, you may even be able to add another few weeks to your enjoyment of the garden space.
If you prefer to stick with natural plantings rather than a substantial structure, give thought to ornamental evergreens. There are so many colors of green that a winter garden which features a mixture of evergreens in a variety of shapes, sizes and shades of green can be a dramatic focal point.
You can tuck in icicle pansies for a bright bloom of color well into December in most climates. This new breed of the gardenerís favorite color spot flower will bloom in early fall, survive winterís first frosts, lie dormant during the cold season and bloom again in early spring. These flowers are specially adapted for use in northern climates, but could also be used for brightening your winter garden.
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