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Winter Gardener Withdrawal

January 2, 2008

Withdrawal . . . a typical symptom us gardeners endure during the winter months. Well, maybe not if you live in the Southwest. In the Northwest, it’s not terribly cold, but I could swim through parts of my garden beds in the backyard. My problems are confounded by months of rain, as well as living on a natural, underground spring. If you are forced to embrace similar boggy situations during the winter months, see my post Boots That Make a Splash. Sometimes blogging about gardening just isn’t enough. Today, I froze my fingers off installing a steel cable trellis for my star jasmine outside the front door. I particularly like the hint of modernism peering through the twisting vines (I will post pictures upon completion).


To cure my own winter withdrawals, I start ripping out pictures from my favorite garden magazines, or tab through my favorite books, and start planning what I’ll conquer in the garden come spring. Last year I added a pergola and a garden shed that hangs from the side of my house. This year, I will continue to landscape with plants that are known to be drought resistant, attract beneficial insects, and look great all year long. I feel good about myself striving to be a responsible gardener, but most of all, I hate watering during the summer.


My goal is not to preach about water conservation, although I think it is extremely important, but rather offer just one of many ways to create a beautiful, eco-conscious garden. I will, however, sneak in a plug about SOIL PREPARATION. I still pay the price for being a once hasty novice, a garden that is part bog during the winter and concrete during the summer. One of my favorite books that helps me plan a garden for all seasons is, Drought Resistant Planting Through the Year by Beth Chatto. My first attempt at garden design looked pretty good during the spring and summer months, but lacked structure and interest during the winter. This book has a good balance of colorful garden pictures, as well as helpful information to preparing soil, placement, and plant combinations.


If too much water during the year leaves you clueless in designing your garden, and a man-made lake to attract wildlife is out of the question, check out Beth Chatto’s Damp Garden: Moisture-loving plants for year-round interest.


Share a comment to help cure Winter Gardener Withdrawal.
*Go to Flickr to see more photos beautiful photos by marc.os


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2008 1:25 am

    I need to have you come to the Southwest and help me! My winter interest landscape consists of dry grasses that mess up my pool! I could use some water-wise color. I also like the website of check it out and maybe put it on your blog if you like. Also could use some help with the pergola- specifically digging the post holes. We might need TNT here.

  2. December 11, 2009 12:07 pm

    I’m a new blogger with a background as a garden designer (and photographer). I live in the mid-Atlantic area and had to smile at the posthole digger comment – we always recommend soil remediation for clients with the kind of soil typical for us, especially if we’re coming into the picture after a lot of construction around the house.

    Kudos for recommending the Chatto books – they are classics and I consult them often.

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