A Room with a View

This post, “A Room with a View” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Another night and morning of high winds and rain prevented me from working in the garden today.  I am getting a little tired of the bad weather coming in for the weekend and stopping me from doing the spring garden chores that need to be done on the only days I can work for hours and not just for a short time.

However, today was not a total loss.  This afternoon I did pick up some of the limbs that had fallen during the night.  Also, there was time late this afternoon for checking on things that are starting to pop up out of the ground, like emerging daylilies, toad lilies, etc.

I also was able to take a good look around and come up with some ideas about how to improve the winter garden.  In the spring and summer, it is not hard to have a good-looking garden, but when plants are dormant it can be a challenge.

So, I have decided to start first by looking out of the windows that face the front and back gardens and seeing what needs to be done with the gardens around the house.  When everything is flushed out with growth, the views are fine, but when it is winter it can look a little bleak.  I have decided to put in more evergreens this year to make boundaries.  Also, I think a focal point of some sort needs to be seen from each view.  That probably means just moving some of the garden art that is around the yard to a more advantageous setting.  In addition, I see where there needs to be pockets of color all around, not just in the front yard or in the entry garden.  Not big plantings, just a few small areas, similar to the way you place color around an inside room to make it more inviting.  And, I am not just thinking about cool season annuals.  There are a lot of perennials I need think about using that will give some color to the garden.

Especially in the winter, when the rain and cold keeps us inside, I want to be able to open the curtains and see an attractive garden.

Since I am outside so often, more and more, I realize that gardeners must think about how an area will look during the cool season.  It is easy to create a lovely garden in the summer, but how it looks in the winter must also be envisioned.  For some time now, I have not been satisfied with how my garden looks in the cooler months. Here, in the South, we can use our gardens year round, and so this needs to be fixed.  Improving my cool season garden design is what I decided I am going to work on this year.

 2008-213-applebl-amarylreduced-v2-001.jpgApple Blossom amaryllis finally opened up.


  1. jodi said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    May I recommend a book? (I didn’t write it) It’s by Nan Ondra and STephanie Cohen–Fallscaping. It’s new out (last couple months) and very good–they’re the kind of writers who explain and encourage, never intimidate. Nan also is part of gardeninggonewild.com, a great site for picking up lots of ideas.
    Your amaryllis is exquisite. I’m waiting for a red one to rebloom right now–and waiting for spring, too.

    Thanks, Jodi. I’m going to look up that book; it seems like just the thing to help me get my plans in shape.

  2. Robin said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    That sounds like a great plan! I’m always looking out my windows and usually place the bird feeders and birdbaths where I can see them. I also added evergreens last year to provide screening and winter color.

    We have bird feeders out our kitchen window, so that is not a view I need to work on now. For winter color, even the green of evergreens, like you did, will be an improvement.

  3. Kylee said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Such a pretty bloom! My ‘Apple Blossom’ is putting up its flower stalk, but is a ways off from blooming.

    Sometimes it can be a challenge to have the view from the inside also look its best when you’re outside, too. Just another part of the fun and challenge of gardening!

    Yes, Kylee, you are so right. The entry garden looks good from inside and outside, but the other views need work. I know it may be a challenge, and I realize it might take a little longer than I want it to, but I’m willing to work at it.

  4. flowergardengirl said,

    February 17, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Yes, how true! We need to pay attention to the winter garden also. My neighbor says I need to trim my bushes and get rid of stuff. He’s pretty outspoken and thinks I live in a jungle. Maybe I do need to clean up a bit. I know I need to put down new mulch. My house is up for sale and I’m just ready to move on to the new gardens. But you are right–it probably looks messy out and I need to clean it up a bit.

    Maybe your neighbor just isn’t a gardener. Sometimes nongardeners just don’t understand what a real garden looks like. They are so used to just plain landscaping.

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