Winterland is full of design advice for gardeners, meant to inspire them even beyond the growing season.
Gardeners in northern climates know that the joy of summer represents a fraction of the year; accordingly, thought should be given to how outdoor spaces look and can be enjoyed in the cold, snowy months, too. So Maine landscape designer Cathy Rees shares inspirational photographs and sound approaches for developing an attractive, functional, year-round garden.
Plant selection is important; here, the emphasis is on evergreens, plants that have interesting shapes, and plants that produce berries or seed pods for animals to make use of in the winter. Still, winter-focused garden design is about more than which plants go where, and Rees provokes gardeners to think about shadows cast on blank, snowy ground; the use of lighting, gates, sculpture, benches, and structures that serve as focal points; and how pruning can be used to enhance the garden.
This approach is one of contrasts: light and dark, what is concealed and revealed, uniformity versus diversity in plantings, wildness and cultivation, and macro and micro scales. Rees asks gardeners to think about the views and voids that open when leaves are removed from trees and plants die back, and to use snow and brush piles as part of the landscape. Her process of building up plantings and other objects is designed to occur over the course of years, observing the effect across seasons. She also forwards advice for bringing the outdoors inside through natural seasonal decorations, and encourages people to gather outdoors, even when it’s cold.
Winterland proposes a new way of thinking for gardeners in all climates, designed around the seasons. It shows that the enjoyment of natural spaces can continue even in dormant times.
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