I am a fan of the winter garden. The winter garden is inspiring with the way its beauty is understated. The winter garden relies on the bones, the structure of the garden to create its beauty. A winter garden is very much, what-you-see-is-what-you-get. And when a garden is designed right, you get a lot of spectacular! If you don’t believe me, perhaps an afternoon with The Garden in Winter by Suzy Bales will have you a believer.
The first lines of the book had me hooked.
“And just for the record, T.S. Elliot got it wrong. January is the cruelest month- dark days amid bone-chilling cold. By April the delights of spring are galloping along. Then spring leapfrogs into summer. Summer cartwheels into fall. Fall, after a blaze of glory, collapse in a heap on home plate. Once fall fizzles out, the trees are denuded, the garden’s bones are bare, and the lost vistas are regained. Winter, the honest season, stands up naked, hiding nothing! Any plant left standing, bare or dressed, is an unsung hero.”
The Garden in Winter is part photo essay, part garden instruction and part personal reflection. Suzy writes as if she is talking with a close friend over coffee on the porch or strolling about her garden. Suzy’s voice, her words, still echo in my mind; a calm, inspiring voice reminding me to embrace the winter garden and to look carefully at what it has to teach me.
“On snowy mornings as I look out from my bedroom window, the beauty of the winter garden always takes me by surprise. The palette is a chiaroscuro of black, white, and gray-a glorious pen and ink drawing.”
Spend enough time with this book and it will seduce you and make you wish for fresh snow so you can explore and evaluate your own garden’s winter interest.
“A winter garden is about possibilities, the relationship you develop with Mother Nature, and the secrets she reveals to you about your garden.”
The Garden in Winter Plant for Beauty and Interest in the Quiet Season
By Suzy Bales