Winter simplifies my landscape. Many branches are bare now, revealing views that were obscured the rest of the year. The lush cloak of more verdant months is gone, and what remains is structural, offering me a fresh understanding of the spaces I’ve been tending.
I can see paths and other circulation corridors more clearly without the distractions of color and the movement of leaves, helping me to understand how creatures flow through my garden. Sometimes clues are obvious, as when a fresh snowfall captures the footprints of my garden’s abundant visitors. Sometimes more subtle, as when a half chewed acorn is left on the wooden railing of my deck, or a scruffy chunk of debris successfully raided from the compost bin. Since my garden is as much for these visitors as for me, these clues help me keep tabs on how attractive my landscape has become, in the eyes of the feathered and furred.
Because of this fresh perspective, winter’s clean slate makes an excellent time to design a landscape. Putting a master plan on paper enables an early spring purchase of just the right plants for just the right places. If you would like to use winter’s thoughtful and patient energy to create a satisfying native plan landscape plan for your own landscape, contact me or click here to learn about the Arboretum’s Native Landscape Design Center co-design service.
by Chris Pax
Lead Designer, Adkins Arboretum Native Landscape Design Center