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Gardens for all the months of the year

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Brrr…winter is approaching!!  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the temperature drops and the landscape begins to be covered in frost, ice, and snow.

Woman, standing in snow, holding holly in her apron
Woman, standing in snow, holding holly in her apron

I used to dread this time of year.  The trees are bare, the flowers are gone, and more time is spent indoors.  But this year, I am opening my eyes to the beauty of winter with the help of one of our reference specialists, Alison Kelly.  Alison has created a guide on Winter Gardening with titles selected from the Library’s vast collections and a sprinkle of her favorite Internet resources.  Using her guide we can delight in the winter garden, find beauty in the architecture of bare and budding branches, and bask in the charm of a sculptured seed head or pod peeping through the snow.

Winter is the perfect season to enjoy the architectural twigs, the flowering shrubs, the fragrant evergreens, the ripe berries, and the textured barks. It is the time of year when the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), Bodnant viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense), and witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) bloom and the chokeberries (Aronia arbutifolia), holly (Ilex decidua) and possumhaw (Viburnum nudum) display their berries.

Let us all shed our preconceptions of the gloomy dead garden this winter and follow the advice of Sir Francis Bacon from his essay On Gardens (1625) “there ought to be gardens for all the months of the year.”

 (You also may wish to check out Alison’s Science Tracer Bullet –research guide– on Gardening)

Comments (7)

  1. this is a cool news. Thank you.

  2. yes, the “bones” of the garden and field present themselves to be enjoyed. there are many lovely plants in season at this time.

  3. Wonderful resource for winter questions.


  4. I completely agree with the perspective in this article. However I must say one of the ways I get through the winter is bringing the trees inside (I’m a bonsai aficionado). Ficus ginseng bonsai is one of my favorites during the winter months.

  5. A agree William. I enjoy carmona bonsai a bit more. Actually carmona and ginseng are quite similar, after all they’re from the same genus..

  6. Good post.
    It’s good to have a Gardening Calendar of a year. In the meantime we are seeking monthly list of gardening tips and “to dos” are appropriate for that time of year including what to plan, plant, prune, maintain, plus weed and pest control and fun projects.
    Any help will be highly appreciated!
    Bill Worley

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