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My favorite way to liven up the winter garden is to keep beautifully feathered chickens . . . move here and there, stir the compost I pile over the sleeping garden beds. They huddle down in the deep mulch, nap in the afternoon sun, and create an ever-changing canvas of living art.

Plumes of grasses, coneflower seed heads,the bead-like berries that line the beautybush stem....iced with snow and backlit by the setting sun. I put in the grasses, confelowers and beautybush...Mother Nature did the rest.

Coincidence? I think not. I just did a post on this very subject yesterday.

I need this book for inspiration as I plan and plant a new garden that will draw me outside to wander and putter on even the dreariest of winter days.

In addition to evergreens that will provide form, color and structure to the winter garden and privacy screening from the rubber neckers on the scenic byway, a collection of boulders awaits a sculptural transformation to enhance the winter garden. The stones have not yet decided what they want to be, a heiau, a pyramid, running monoliths through the forest in a nod to stonehenge. I will go have a chat with them today and see what they have to say. A massive stone sculpture of some sort will pierce the snows of my winter garden.

I have number of ladder-type trellises in my garden beds. I've painted them teal. As well as providing color to the garden year-round, they add a vertical accent. I find that teal plays well with all the other colors in the garden.

I've been working on my new garden for three summers. I still take pictures of the garden monthly - especially during the winter months - to chart progress and see where the blank spaces are. I've planted a leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum), burkwood viburnum (Viburnum burkwoodii), spreading euonymus (Euonymus kiautschovica) - all of which are broadleaf evergreens. A Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') and a desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) shed their leaves but have fantastic branch structure for the winter. I also leave a lot of the spent flowers for structure and for bird food. Like Christopher C, the evergreens are placed to block views - of the hoarder next door.

Happy snowmen are a must for winter interest! Hopefully we will get some packing snow soon. I started from scratch this fall, but the birch tree and shrubs that I bought on sale have made a huge difference in my yard. I am grateful everyday that I splurged on the birch. I plan on visiting a garden nursery next year that specializes in dwarf conifers, and that should really help matters. I had to leave my rocks behind at the old house too, so my front yard is looking very stark. The twigs sticking up that are the lilac suckers that I transplanted here are very sad, and not very worthy of winter interest yet. Sigh... Ideas please.

I think getting out into the weather and understanding that nature is not dead, only moving in more subtle ways, is the only way to survive winter. So this book sounds fantastic!

Like LauraP, my chickens keep me going. Cleaning out their coop is the only gardener-like activity all winter long.

I came to realize a few years ago that my otherwise stunning garden looked pretty barren during the winter months. After months of research (and searching flikr) I put a plan together and have even given talks as a Master Gardener on the subject. Best tips? Concentrate your efforts on the areas you see most during the winter months, such as the view out a favorite window, path from the car to the door, etc. Colors are muted in winter sun and especially overcast days, so go brilliant. Take an everyday object and paint it a bright color to provide a focal point. Just one. Otherwise? Kitschy.

The best thing I found to keep the garden lively in winter is to provide habitat for wildlife. Seeing rabbit prints in the snow, watching birds squabble over the feeders, catching the odd raccoon washing himself in the small open pond I created, all wonderful delights.

I bet the book is very interesting! Winter interest is definitely lacking in our yard but I'm aiming to improve that over time. I'm big fan of bark and red twig dogwoods. Anything with that stands out in the winter. We don't get much snow so we can't count on blankets of white to decorate the garden.

Some advice would be appreciated on how to make a garden, which can get 4 to 6 foot of snow in an average winter, look interesting. All the shrubs have to be tied like brooms or wrapped to protect the branches from being pulled off as the snow compacts. Some of that does provide quite sculptural shapes for a while, as does a small Corkscrew Hazel which looks at its best in shallow snow. Even the top of an arch covered with honeysuckle and light-splitting baubles and a rosa glauca which must be at least 7' are barely seen by mid-January. So ideas please.

Little Bluestem poking out of the snow is lovely, but once the street plows come by, it gets buried.

I'm going to have to move it to a spot that doesn't get plow piles.

Winter is that time of contemplation and sitting with the seed catalogs...but it really helps not to have to cringe every time you walk through the yard.

I could use some inspiration! (although, right now, the seed-heads on my anemones are really pretty!)

I mostly ignore the work I haven't done for winter in the garden. Instead, I wait anxiously for the crocuses (croci?) and plan for spring. In the garden itself, My attention goes to the birdfeeders & the hellebore, keeping an eye on the artichokes & herbs to see what survives each freeze, & loving the fact that my neighborhood is full of evergreens.

Camellias. . .
I still think they're a magic plant.

Living in zone 8, I can have flowers all winter; Cyclamen, Winter Jasmine, Sasanquah Camellia, Asian Mahonia, and Erica heath, but I have also put in a number of plants with colored bark; Acer conspicuum 'Pheonix', Acer circinatum "Pacific Fire', Cornus sanquinea 'Midwinter Fire', and the yellow twigged dogwood (the name of which escapes me right now). A number of Calluna heathers turn bright reds, oranges, and bronze in the winter, too. We need fiery colors in our gray Seattle winters.

I'd like some gold or weeping conifers, but they are tres cher. (Very expensive don't you know.) So, regular joes have to rely on grasses and dried seed heads, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it can be just too much color in the earthy-brown family. Or black. I don't need to see black in January when it's -20. And don't say dogwoods as an answer--rabbits devour my shrubs like I devour Godiva. Viburnum, dogwwod, spiraea, buckthorn--I can't create shrub winter interest.

Sounds like just the book for us gardeners that go through flower with draw in the winter.

Many years ago I had recall a similar titled book that I saw on the way out of a bookstore. Those images have never left my mind! I'm just happy to a name and title for a book on the same subject. Winter gardens should be a must for every home that has to deal with snow!

I live in a suburb where there are several areas dating from immediately-post-Civil War; a couple of the old large farms were broken up and the land was granted to former slaves. Some of their descendants still live in the little houses with beaten earth front yards, and at least one house has a bottle tree. I passed by one winter day and saw how lovely the green plastic bottles were as the low sun shone through them and transformed this lowly material into something magical. Not to mention, they are very useful for trapping evil spirits and keeping them out of the way.

So, I started my own bottle tree, although I use cobalt blue bottles (surprisingly hard to find these days), and they are planted on gracefully bending bamboo stakes planted in the middle of a big blue hydrangea. In the summer they are unobtrusive, blending with the hydrangeas, but in winter they are remarkably bright and beautiful.

Our garden gets many feet of snow every year, so winter interest is always a challenge. We've put in several different shrubs - dogwoods, viburnum, corkscrew hazel and yew. We've also put up three different types of trellis, one with kiwi, one with honeysuckle and one with clematis, all around the perimeter of the yard. When we had to cut down an apple tree that had gotten to the end of it's life, we decided to leave the trunk whole and upright, the aim was for a large sculpture as a focal point. We have added a stone inuksuk about three feet high in one corner of the front, tucked behind the rhododendrons. The snow swirls around it, much like a cozy blanket.
I do have a weakness for kitsch which my husband has managed to restrain. My one silly is a large (three feet high again) garden gnome guarding the front door in winter, complete with wreath hat. The one addition this year was a five foot long knarled root system that a friend gave me. It is beautifully silvered, and I didn't just want to leave it on the ground to be buried. I strung it on the trellis against the house, where the clematis dies back each year. It provides a beautiful natural sculpture that I see as soon as I pull in the driveway.
Since my garden is very small, I keep with natural colours and materials, but use textures and shapes. With one obvious silly to make me laugh.

I do NOT want to enter - but I did want to say I have your book and LOVE it - I have pulled it out for top of my "company reading" stack these past two winters.

Please enter me in the contest. I'm going to go ahead and play the injury card. I have a broken ankle and can't get outside right now. Having a little winter interest outside my windows would definitely help my mental state!

I live in a moderate climate ( we had our first snow since 1976 just last week ! ) so winter is still garden season for me. Of course, it can still get dreary if you simply think of winter as a dead time. Me ? I leave the seedheads on the coneflowers & the hips on the last of the roses, providing food for sparrows & finches - or homegrown tea in the case of the rosehips. I plant roots & salad & cole crops in the veggie bed, keep zygocactus & camellias within view enjoy the violas volunteering in the mulch & pathways & anywhere else they can get a foothold. And if at all possible, I run outside to capture with my camera the fog or frost or drizzle on the crispy browns and the youthful greens in my yard, so I'll remember them when I can't get out there.

The book looks BEAUTIFUL!

I'm in!
It seems like 13 months of winter!

My 'artic' cat and I tour my gardens and take pics of plants and things either partially buried in snow or plants covered in thick ice and icicles.

When my fingers are frozen the cat and I come in for a hot tea and purr session as I load the pictures into a public album.

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