Sometimes Winter Rains on Your Parade


Garden Reflection

And Sometimes it Doesn’t.

As I mentioned in the last post, winter brings a new way to see the landscape. Remember, your garden is not just three seasons long! If it is, well you might need to rethink it. Green it up for winter, maybe?

Like most things, there is both good and bad in winter landscapes. Along with the snow, the weather can warm where the rains fall instead. Rain makes slush – but not today, anyway.


Invite the wildlife, even a wet squirrel.

In the garden, both rain and snow happened.


Don’t trim those shrubs and perennials.

So what problems come with snow?

  • Rodents can hide from predators while girdling trees.
  • Freeze/thaw cycle with heaving damages perennials and bulbs.
  • Heavy snow damages trees and shrubs.
  • Late season snows damage fruit bearing trees.
  • Turf damage from snow mold.
  • Heavy snow or ice knocks out utilities.

Take notice of the smallest details.

Ice Problems?

See the post, Ice is Both Beauty and the Beast for what snow and ice can do to trees. Also, some tips on how to deal with broken tree limbs.


Green up the winter garden.

And the rain turned to snow…

Now that is a misleading statement, because rain never actually turns into snow.Β  It is just a physical impossibility because of how snow is formed. But snow will turn into rain, which happens frequently.


Landscape with plants that encourage wildlife in summer too.

Rain often starts off as snow. As snow is falling through the air below the cloud, the air temperature becomes progressively warmer, so the snowflakes turn to raindrops. If the ambient temperatures remain cold, the snow falls instead.


Garden structure, texture and shelter for wildlife.

It is tough on the landscape when the weather cannot make up its mind to stay either warm or cold. When rain turns to ice …

Mess is Good

Mess is Good

Ice plays havoc with plants breaking branches and flattening weakly erect conifers.


Don’t shear the hedges late in the season or new growth will get wind burned and die back.

Around my gardens the scene changes all day in this fickle weather.

Make use of hardscape. It organizes and defines.Also, raised beds give an opportunity to amend the soil.

Make use of hardscape. It organizes and defines. Also, raised beds give an opportunity to amend the soil.

The rain washes away snow, but within the hour the snow returns, shrubs clinging to the last raindrops.


Get out and enjoy it in all seasons, even if only for a few snapshot.

Being a wet day, sometimes winter rains on your parade, but no need to stop the picture-taking. Cold rain can be something of beauty, but it doesn’t beat a new snowfall.


Notice the colors that make up a winter garden. The birds do!

Next, “Post 500″…


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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51 Responses to Sometimes Winter Rains on Your Parade

  1. Christy says:

    Hi Donna. Your photos make everything look beautiful!! I especially like the rain drops with the reflection of your garden and the twig with the snow on it!! Love the look of the little corner garden!

    • Thanks Christy, but that is the entire garden, looking diagonally. The twig is Perovskia. I let all my perennials untrimmed through winter. The ones that don’t provide food, will overwinter insects.

  2. What a beautiful vision…. Incredible shots!

  3. HolleyGarden says:

    Love that first ‘garden reflection’ photo. Putting evergreens, structure, and plants with winter interest in beds for winter was one of the first lessons I learned as a gardener. It was an expensive lesson to learn, but well worth it!

    • Many here have learned the ‘structure’ lesson, but you would be surprised how many of my clients never understood it until it was installed. The same with massing too. It is hard to visualize what massing means in a garden, it is more than planting in numbers, it is the volume of space a grouping fills. That is what many do not understand, the relationship between masses. I also heard from clients it was an expensive lesson to learn, but one they were glad they did.

  4. b-a-g says:

    It seems like my parade has been rained on for months. I wish my raindrops were as photogenic as yours.

  5. absolutely love that first photo of the raindrop on a single blade of grass…..and you actually managed to get an upside down view of the surrounding scenery in the drop of water, too! thats quite difficult to do as i know too well! truly superb!

    • The raindrop was actually on a Concolor Fir needle. That made it easier to set up a tripod for the shot. I did shoot grass in the summer though, for the bokeh effect. I loved those images.

  6. I like the picture with the hydrangea. I think hydrangea is one of the best plants for winter interest if you don’t cut it back in fall.

  7. I love your photos. I especially like the hydrangea since it is the plant I watch and use it as a barometer to gauge the progress of my winter. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I think I prefer snow to cold gray rain…snowing again here and is supposed to continue all week with cold temps. After all it is still winter. The garden sleeps, hides the voles as they do their nasty damage and nourishes the plants with lots of nitrogen. I love my garden in winter…if you have snow you might as well make the garden look lovely with a nice snow coat.

    • I have a post coming with photos on a gray day. I love the way they turned out. The post also talks about why we don’t like gray days too.

      I think no garden in the north should be designed without the consideration for winter and the holidays. It is very important in my design work, as much is viewed from inside also. Views out onto the landscape are just as important.

  9. alesiablogs says:

    Beautiful post. Mr. Squirrel is so cute too!

  10. Winter is our rainy season so I look upon it as a very important season. It also allows me time to rest and focus on other things in my life that are not garden related that are often neglected during the other 3 seasons. But, like you I think winter offers some really interesting things, especially birds that overwinter in the southeast that I only see at this time of year. Most importantly without the winter we wouldn’t appreciate the other seasons as much.

    • You are lucky to have a rainy season. Rain adds so much more in volume to the landscape than does snow. Spring used to be our rainy season, but we will see this coming year. I hope to get rain all year, we need it. For me, the birds are the winter highlight. I get plenty of summer birds, but there is so much more in summer of color.

  11. Les says:

    The adult voice in my head often tells me to quit wishing for what isn’t and make the most of what is. From the looks of your photos in this post and the last, that is what you have done.

  12. Beautiful words and images, Donna. I, too, am fascinated with the ice/snow/rain combinations. They do, indeed, deliver some fantastic photo ops. Though, of course, they bring damage, too. Well said!

    • My post on ice really showed the dichotomy. On one hand, the beauty and on the other the severe damage. Even too much rain destroys. It seems as of late, the weather has given too much or too little of everything. Winds here have been excessive and that is something we used to get infrequently.

  13. Bill S says:

    Even though the weather may be awful it still provides us with some wonderful images. We are now into our third week of overcast grey skies, without sunlight I have to say it’s all pretty dismal, hey ho Spring is here for us our forecast is looking good.

    • It is funny how Spring is not a calendar date to gardeners. I can see how three weeks of dreary would make one dream of Spring. Today here we had some sunny skies. We have been getting more winter sun this year than most.

  14. A.M.B. says:

    Gorgeous pictures! I love how you encourage me to see the beauty in winter–it’s sometimes hard to appreciate it by March. I’m looking forward to Spring by this point.

  15. 500 posts? Wowser. Beautiful winter pictures.

  16. Bindu says:

    What lovely shots! Winter, snow – I have never experienced them. The pictures of snow always attract me. You have done a great job.

  17. callabri says:

    I love your photos, so stunning πŸ™‚

  18. Joanne Hardison says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs. Every season has its beauty!

    • Each one is so special too. Our area really has each very different, providing we actually get Spring weather and not flow right into Summer. You need a link! No way for readers to click on your blog.

  19. Your photos are beautiful. I love snow – it brings out the child in me. This winter we have had snow flurries on so many days that we started to get a little bored with it and given the excitement with which the first few snowfalls were greeted, our lack of interest was a bit of a surprise. Then I remembered being bored in long, hot summers, (although we haven’t seen many of these recently) so I would love the opportunity to test the notion that at some point in my life I have longed for a cool day. I think that is why I love each of the seasons so much – every time I fancy a change, our climate obliges!

  20. We are having a thunderstorm going over us right now. Just don’t think of thunderstorms in winter. The first clap of thunder and the Aussie went to hide in the shower stall. Looks like the NE is getting more snow.

  21. Brian Comeau says:

    You have a great and very unique outlook on life. Never let go of it. Very refreshing. BTW I’ll have 50 post coming soon… I’ll catch up to you in another 10 years… πŸ™‚

    • I enjoy your take on life things too. You have a very spiritual outlook and the upstanding, principled, decent way you live your life to go with it. Your family means everything to you. It is very admirable in this day and age when so many are not like that. 50 posts is pretty good. I have to check back on some of them.

  22. I am so jealous of your beautiful snowy landscape, something we haven’t seen this winter.

  23. coolruchi says:

    Wow your photography is just awesome!!

  24. helensadornmentsblog says:

    I wish we had more snow here in Atlanta, GA. I will just enjoy the snow through your amazing photos. My husband and I hope to move further north when we retire to enjoy cooler weather.

  25. elizz says:

    i love all your photos!

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