Friday, February 15, 2013

The Winter Garden


Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate the garden in winter. Leaves have dulled to brown and fallen to the ground. Perennials have wilted and faded leaving behind dry stalks. Shrubs sit dormant in winter snow and wind. The vibrant colors and lush textures are gone for the season.




In the past, I found the garden ugly and unappealing. The only beauty I ever found was after a few inches of snow had covered the ground and plantings, leaving a decorative white and sparkly covering that made everything beautiful and magical.


More recently, I have begun to look closely at the garden in winter, and I have found those hidden treasures that may be subtle but are clearly displayed.


Even in treacherous ice storms, there is beauty in nature as the ice molds over leaves and branches.


Birds seem to find joy in simply being alive, singing, flitting along while foraging, and playing in the snow.


© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter

60 comments:

  1. Loved that hellebore with snow on! And the bird on the railing, what kind of bird is it? I am hopeless identifying birds...Not long to go now before your garden will have vibrant colours and lush textures again :-)

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    1. It should not be too long now before some visible signs of spring emerge, Helene. That bird is a Dark-eyed Junco, sometimes called a Snowbird. They are only here in the winter, and then they fly north to breed. Thank you!

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  2. Yes, winter makes us look a bit closer for the beauty -but it's there, as evidenced by your lovely photos. The little bird made me smile!

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    1. Thank you, Holley. That bird splashing in the snow made me smile, too. :)

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  3. Yes, sometimes I just need to change my perspective in order to see things differently...beautiful photos!

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    1. Thank you, Kim. It took me a long while to appreciate winter. :)

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  4. These photos are wonderful! And, inspirational...I'm thinking I should take my camera and see what beauty I can find in my backyard...which I've been feeling is looking rather ugly right now. I might be surprised...I hope. :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you! It can be a challenge to find beauty at this time of year. I have to look very hard sometimes.

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  5. I love these pictures, especially the Junco and the evergreen needles encased in ice.

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    1. Thank you, Jason. We have not had much snow and ice this year. I always long for snow, but I suppose there is still time. Spring is whispering in my ear, however. :)

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  6. Your photos do indeed show beauty in the winter garden. I like all your pictures, with my favorite being the junco.

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    1. That Junco was a surprise, and I am so glad I caught that splash. Thank you, Beth.

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  7. Twój ogród zimowy jest ciekawy i nawet już jest tegoroczny sliczny kwiatek. Pozdrawiam.
    Your winter garden is interesting and even has a pretty flower this year. Yours.

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    1. Thank you, Giga. I love the hellebores at this time of year.

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  8. Each photo is breathtaking. I feel like I've been on a short stroll in a beautiful place.

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    1. That is a very kind thing to say, thank you.

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  9. I think we just have to switch modes in winter, enjoy the muted colours, the structure, the simplicity. I enjoy the contrast with the exuberance of Spring more and more as I get older. Amazing photo of the ice on the conifer leaves.

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    1. Thank you, Janet. Winter has its challenges, but I am glad I finally came to appreciate it.

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  10. Beautiful captures of your winter garden. I too have been finding treasured moments in the landscape that on first glance is dull and boring but upon a closer inspection has a lot to offer. Looks like you've had colder temperatures than we have this winter. We haven't had any snow yet.

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    1. Thanks, Karin. I always prefer snow on the landscape, but it is fun to look, to find those winter surprises. We have had some snow but not a lot.

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  11. Such beautiful photos. Love the hellebore.

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  12. Very pretty, Michelle! I'm having trouble appreciating it now. January was great, but now I'm ready to vacation in the south! Your photos are incredible, though!!

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    1. Thank you, Beth. Although I still yearn for some snow, the daffodils in bud are making me yearn for spring.

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  13. I marvel at how the bird can stand on the snow with bare feet. Your photo has beautifully captured how it had kicked up some snowflakes behind it. It is a charming picture of life at its kicking best.

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    1. Love your comment...describes the scene so perfectly. I often wonder how they can stand these cold temperatures, but I suppose all that eating helps. :)

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  14. Snow and ice add such beauty to a garden, the covering of ice on your conifer is stunning.

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    1. Thank you, Pauline. That was a nice find...to find the ice on the needles.

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  15. It's true that close examination can reveal some beauty in the WInter landscape! lovely photos!

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    1. Thank you, Jayne. I enjoy looking for all of those secret beauties.

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  16. incredibly beautiful pictures!
    winter is a very beautiful season! I liked how you captured that pine tree branch with ice...keep up your great photography!

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    1. Thank you, Hindustanka. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  17. Michelle your images surely show the beauty of winter...although I am hoping for a nice move into a slow spring starting in March...I need it!

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    1. Although I am still hoping for a bit more snow, I am hearing the call of spring. Thank you, Donna.

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  18. Your icy pictures are wonderful, we had showers of hailstones yesterday, winter has not yet left us.

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    1. We have some sleet at the moment. And I would not be surprised if we have some snow or ice in March. Thank you, Janneke.

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  19. I couldn't agree more! Beauty is everywhere as is evident in your photos! I really the first one....the grays with that ruby/rust colour....very nicely done.

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    1. Thank you, Jim. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

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  20. There's always beauty to be found in nature I think if we look for it. I know what you mean though, sometimes when it isn't immediately eye catching we just gloss over it.

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    1. Thanks, Marguerite. I am not that fond of the winter landscape without snow, but I try to find the beauty in it.

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  21. Beautiful photos! It's a good reminder to appreciate the beauty that's around one. Sometimes, all I see is brown and try to will Spring to come sooner.

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    1. I know what you mean. Spring's warm temperatures and beautiful color are very tempting.

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  22. The garden in winter is fascinating, if we just take the time to 'look' :) I used to see only dulls and browns, too...now I see sights just like yours and appreciate them more than ever before. Your photos are stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. You see the beauty in winter very clearly.

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  23. So wise and true! My roses keep trying to push out new leaves which is so admirable. They are determined to grow! I love their spirit. :o)

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    1. The same with my roses, Tammy. They have very small leaves on them at the moment. It is fun to watch.

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  24. I agree with you! Overall the garden doesn't look pretty, but close up it can be very different. Add a bit of frost or snow and wow! Love these photos and particularly the ice on the conifer - that's absolutely stunning! It hasn't been that cold here for anything like icicles and our one day of snow melted rather quickly. I'm in spring mode now anyway so don't wish any more really icy weather. :-)

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    1. I love the snow in winter because it brings such beauty to the stark landscape. We have had some but not very much. And now the daffodils are budding.... Thank you, Mandy!

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  25. I love your first photo, the word that comes to mind is - spectacular! Sometimes we need to stop everything around us and go out with new eyes to find what we have overlooked. You've done exactly this with your photos :)

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. It has taken me a while to appreciate winter. I am glad I have finally found that silent elegance that winter whispers ever so softly.

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  26. If I were to take a leaf out of your book, perhaps I would see more beauty in Winter. Were to! I am going to, right now.

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    1. LOL! Thank you, Alistair. I hope you find lots of little surprises.

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  27. The photos of snow and ice on the plants are beautiful and are such a different environment to the one I live in.

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    1. Thank you, Marisa. The snow and ice add a little bit of interest during those bleak and cold months.

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  28. Michelle, These are beautiful images to make us look closely at the more subtle beauties of winter. On my drives north to Maine in December and back south to Gettysburg in January, I was particularly aware of the luminous gold/beige glow of beech trees amidst evergreens. -Jean

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    1. Thank you, Jean. I love how the beech trees add a bit of color to the forest with their subtle blush peeking from behind and peering out of corners. It must be a pleasant drive for you to view all that beauty.

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  29. Beautiful!!!! Beautiful images. I love winter images with snow and ice. The photo of the bird is outstanding!!!! Great shots!

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    1. Thank you! I, too, love winter images. The snow and ice are like paint brushes in the winter landscape.

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  30. Michelle, great pictures! Especially the one with frozen drops on the pine's needle. Seems we have the same weather, cleaning paths, some minutes and hours of sun rays. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Nadezda. We have had some ice and snow but probably not as much as you have. Although I would welcome another snowfall, my heart is beginning to yearn for spring.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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