Time to start planning!!
Late in November of 2018 we settled in Montgomery Village, Maryland, in a 50-year-old garden home that had seen her one and only owner pass away only to be hustled through a quick sale followed quickly by another quick sale on the heals of a hasty renovation. In her heyday she was a hip boomers dream pad and, after a bit of gussying up, caught us in a similar swoon. The part that sealed the decision was the lushly overgrown walled garden in the back. Thick with shade and bent wooded thickets reaching over the boundaries of a garden path and well-worn wooden deck, flanked by a hidden cement patio on one end and an old attached glass and metal solarium on the other. It felt like a secret being passed on to us, something to covet.
The previous owner was obviously an avid gardener and had lovingly tended his secret garden, that can best be described as a Japanese and Appalachian hybrid, until he could tend no longer. My best guess is that it has been left to its own devices for the better part of 3 years. Some parts of the garden have flourished unchecked while others have suffered in the constant battle for sunlit real estate.
As the days dwindled through the winter solstice, I settled into trying to identify as many plants as possible until January settled in with its snow and bone rattling cold. Most of that month I spent what little daylight we were afforded staring out the window and daydreaming of ways to tame the garden while keeping its sense of lushness and isolation. Winter is a great time to see the bones of your garden; the scaffolding of twists and turns that define its summer thickness. The dormant season offers the gardener the time to reflect like an artist on how best to fill in the spaces with light and color and to plan like an architect on where to mound or to hollow.
When February comes, the weather gets colder and wetter, but the days start to get noticeably longer. Dormant plants start the slow but steady crawl towards the mad cap rush of spring and we too must pepper into our winter routine a plan for the growing season!
This month’s blog we’ll explore winter pruning of trees and shrubs, check in with the house plants, talk organization and start some seeding, and jump into our first Craft & Cocktails project. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for even more inspiration pictures and tips! Tag us for a chance to have your pictures shared.