I, Clarisse Cardinal take issue with anyone saying there is no winter interest in small gardens. I am pretty darn happy here in the Falls at this time of year, and as I fly, have seen so much beauty in this wonderland of snow and ice. I am in no rush for Spring, no rushing for the chore of raising my young. I love these care free days. I live in a BIG garden here at Niagara Falls, so let’s take a look. (Doesn’t Clarisse look mad above? Funny, huh?)
Take a look at the snow dunes, sure the wind is wicked, but without nature’s fury there would not be this pretty windswept scene. The sun is out, but barely, and my friends and I are having a great time. It is not even that cold at 37 degrees today. But I did not say it was not windy!
My friend Chester Cardinal is braving the wind in the pear tree and having ‘a really bad hair day’.
You don’t believe me, so let’s keep walking and flying, this way please, …
This is where I live. Is it not a wonderful place? My friend, Sparky Sparrow lives in the tree in front during the Summer in his gorgeous summer nest.
Sylvester Squirrel also is a tree dweller and gets into so much mischief, you cannot but have ‘winter interest’ when he is around. I am introducing you to all my friends because they help make this place a great place to live. I bet you noticed we are not afraid of the humans. In fact, we are always looking for handouts.
“I promise to be a good squirrel, cross my heart. Don’t listen to Clarisse, she is a bit of a story-teller, plus a busybody too. Always knowing something about everybody.”
This is where Chester and the Mrs. live.
Mrs. Chester Squirrel is a bit snooty but has a lot of dinner parties. See the evergreens in back, it is party central back there. The sparrows are the absolute worse. Seed everywhere and a lot of hanky panky back in those conifers.
See all the trees we have. Highrise and the more economical models.
I am not a crazy bird, I won’t fly here, like those dimwitted seagulls. Surprisingly, there are none here today.
Oops, there is one now. You just have to look a little harder. No wonder we are called birdbrained, giving us as a species a bad name.
This is Carl Cardinal. He is a bit of a lady’s man and a real player. We don’t chirp, though.
Yet, my friend Donna painted him for her blog banner. He has a big head already and did not need a billboard with his face on it. Look at him puff out his chest and pose. Just like in the blog header. Such a pretty boy.
And meet Terry, the Tufted Titmouse.
This is my good friend, Black-capped Chickadee. He likes perching on colorful pickup sticks. I guess being black and white yourself gets a little boring.
Close up of the brink and it is cold and windy.
Step back and look at what you find. Rainbows are here everyday it is sunny almost.
I hope so because I think there is plenty here. This is the garden I share with my friends, but I bet in your own garden you have a lot of winter beauty. It is all around you in the softly fallen snow, in the crystallized ice, in the bulbs pushing through the moist soil, and in the rushing cold water. Your trees and shrubs are wearing their winter finest, just waiting for you to snap a few shots.
Winter is magical in just about anyone’s garden, all you have to do is find the spot and the moment. Hear that Garden Rant? There is winter interest to find in all size gardens, but I brought you to the Falls and big landscapes liked Garden Rant suggested.
She is right that it is almost guaranteed to find winter beauty here, but even the small gardens can find trees, critters, paths, slices of their architecture and snow-covered logs in their own garden. Grab a beautiful borrowed view from your neighbor for the big garden look.
I disagree a bit because I live minutes from the Falls and I visit often. I can find beauty in early Spring and late Fall. There is not a time where the interest is missing. I did a post in Fall with loads of Fall color, but here in Niagara Falls, we almost miss late Fall and get swept right into Winter. Same with early Spring, there is not a gradual change of seasons like most places. I will make sure to post trips to the Falls more often.
I am not a photographer, but I do know design. With a little selective, creative investigating into all the nooks and crannies, I am betting you can even get the critics to agree, you have winter interest. Nature is by far the best designer and architect. She has laid out the invitation to photograph. In fact Gardening Gone Wild has a new photo contest. Maybe you can be inspired to post a winter garden.
Snow shots are wonderful and I have seen many in my travels around the country and world with visiting blogs this winter. So think white, and find the one shot GGW is looking for.
Find beauty in the ordinary and that which is small. You will only see them this way in winter. Click any of the photos, they get nice and large. Prettier too.
The grass has its wintery moments. Lots of texture and subtle color gradations.
We’ll see you again soon. Stop back for my GBBD magazine. I created my winter garden interest by design, but nature gives me a helping hand. So see you somewhere on the blogosphere tomorrow in another pretty winter garden.
If you want some good and serious information to consider when designing your winter landscape, Erica at The Home Outside is also a designer, and has listed some great tips on adding winter interest. Visit her post When the Snow Hits the Fan: Good Design Diverts Winter Disasters.