The Winter Garden
With the reluctance of settling my garden in for the Winter months comes the sudden, sweet joy of finding yet another reason to decorate. Being a tad lazy, I am inclined to have decorations that will last from November to April; ones that aren’t too themed, and will stand up to the snow and ice that could easily keep them firmly in place until Springtime. They have to be something that I enjoy seeing every day, and something that won’t look misplaced in the middle of February (quite possibly the worst month of the year), and, if it somehow involves a gnome or a small, metal bird, then I may just have to wrap a plaid scarf around its neck.
For me, it is all about exploiting Mother Nature, and working with rather than against the harsh elements that could crack a favorite sculpture or topple a childhood tree. Nothing should be too fragile. I like to keep it simple, play with shapes that are already there, and use materials that will only look better with a good dose of age.
I am sure that my small gargoyle (made handily of resin) will last for many seasons, and that the verbena flowers can be left tall, holding onto their seeds, waiting for when the hungry birds will need them the most. The old trellis brings much needed height, while a small mason jar is able to sway, ever-so-gently in a nearby tree – holding a candle that may never get lit, but bringing the quiet magic of possibility to many of our cold, gray days. Some berries and leaves have stayed vibrant and red, defying common sense with the stubbornness of a child that won’t be ignored, holding on tight to their color next to the freshly fallen snow. I actually don’t like the cold at all, yet I find myself bracing the freezing temperatures for a few, stolen minutes outside; I am still amazed at the transformation when I stare at the harsh, brittle landscape – alternatively watching clouds and stars, gathering new images every day, and reminding myself of how simply beautiful the Winter garden can be …..
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