Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Landscape

I don't cut back a lot of my plants at the end of the season, for a few reasons: 1) I can be a bit lazy in the garden, 2) the plants provide food and shelter for wildlife, and 3) they just look so pretty with all that snow.

You can see all the bunny tracks in this picture; maybe not the wildlife I would like to be sheltering in my garden. But what you can't see is the several dozen chickadees and various other winter birds that dart around the garden picking food from the remaining vegetation. Nature's bird feeders.

They are especially good at getting the remaining seeds from the prickly echinacea. I love the contrast of the almost lethal looking spikes sticking from the soft, sparkly snow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does look beautiful when you don’t cut back plants, with all the snow... so pretty!

12/27/2009 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

WOW! You are a fast commenter, Vrtlarica!!
I was messing around trying to figure out table HTML and before I even got my post "completed" you had posted a comment!

I love winter when it snows. And having the added texture of plants in the garden give it that more beauty.

12/27/2009 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Nell Jean said...

The other reason for not cutting back is that stems with pithy or hollow centers sometimes hold water to freeze and kill the roots as well. The uncut tops offer a bit of protection, especially if some pine straw or other mulch is tossed over them. Salvia leucantha is a good example, not easy to carry over to the next year but has a better chance left uncut.

12/27/2009 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Sylvana; I do minimal cutting back in the fall. The only thing I cut back religiously are the siberian irises, to prevent the iris budfly larvae from wintering over in the stems. Besides the food for birds and the way they look in the snow, having those plants to cut back and clean up gives me an excuse to get out in the garden in April and early May, when the soil is still too wet to work and too cold to plant things in. -Jean

12/27/2009 4:46 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Nell Jean, I knew some plants got a thermal boost from having the extra plant cover, but I wasn't even aware of the freezing pith!

jeansgarden, I did start cutting my irises back for that very reason. I also like cleaning up my garden in the spring, I usually have way too much to do in fall anyway.

12/27/2009 8:18 PM  
Blogger Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I love the last picture a lot!

12/28/2009 3:46 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Tatyana, thanks!

12/29/2009 12:54 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

beautiful winter landscape! We looked much the same last week, but after a bit of rain, it's more of a muddy frozen mess right now. But enough to be indoors and enjoying seed catalogs!

12/29/2009 9:49 PM  
Blogger Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It's just so pretty there. I think the plants left standing look so nice in the snow and as you mention offer food and shelter as well.

12/30/2009 11:16 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

BRRRRRRRRR. I promise not to complain about it being in the low 40's in the morning anymore.

12/31/2009 9:55 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Wendy, we usually get that some time in January. It really makes a mess of things!

Catherine, I love snow. I always want to live somewhere that it snows. Grasses look especially look nice in the snow, and anything with red berries lingering on it, too! Or red dogwood! That really looks nice in the snow!

Lydia, lately it has been near 0°F here. Great for snuggling in the house with a hot drink and some good movies, video game or the INTERNET!! :)

1/01/2010 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

1/03/2010 6:18 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Anonymous, thanks. I blog mostly for me, but it always makes me happy when others appreciate the blog too :)

1/04/2010 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snow, snow, we too are covered! your garden looks like it has lots of beautiful plants - Gloria

1/05/2010 7:05 PM  
Blogger Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Everything looks even despite the snow, very cosy.

Love that prickly echinacea shot.


1/05/2010 8:57 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Gloria, I got a lot of great plants late in the season last year. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do this growing season.

Muddy Boot Dreams, winter is a very cozy season. I'm curled up on the couch drinking hot cocoa right now!

1/06/2010 10:20 PM  
Blogger Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Your garden looks exactly like mine, :), nice shots.

1/16/2010 6:45 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Iowa Gardening Woman, I do what I can :)

1/19/2010 9:40 PM  
Blogger Muhammad khabbab said...

wow what lovely pics.

2/17/2010 5:08 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Muhammad, he lighting was perfect for capturing the sleepy cold that wraps us up for hibernation at this time of year.

2/23/2010 8:23 PM  

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