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February 17th, 2015

Winter is a valuable time in the garden if we take the time to observe. We can see how the wind moves, where snow drifts and where the ground is blown completely bare. We can see where the snow melts first and what areas are soggy when it does.
snow drifts 1
snow drifts 2
I spend a good amount of time watching the garden this time of year. What I find most important are the snow drifts. I’m figuring out where I shouldn’t plant really tender plants and where I can. I’m figuring out where I should plant windbreaks and where I should plant tough shrubs to act as drift fences. I now know which spots thaws fist in spring and would be a fantastic spring woodland garden filled with early snowdrops, hellebores and other spring beauties. I also know where I shouldn’t plant hydrangeas.
snow drifts 3
It’s very true what they say about spending a few years observing a garden before you begin to plant and make big changes. It’s especially important to watch through a few winters to see what they bring. The longer I garden the more patient I become and the more I value time spent in observing the space around me.

Do you take the time to observe your garden in winter? Does what you see affect where/how you plant?

2 Comments to “Observing”
  1. Natalie on February 17, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I haven’t really been watching for garden planning, but I will now apply it to my garden. The place I was planning on putting my garden holds snow the longest. It’s a really sunny area in the summer, though.

    Reply to Natalie's comment

  2. Kyle on February 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve been on my property for two years now, and this was a really important lesson for me. After watching the sunlight patters for two years, I finally feel comfortable deciding what should go in a long hedgerow this spring. Also, I’ve had enough successes and failures over the last two years to get a sense of what doesn’t want to live here. Why I can’t get rosemary to survive in my yard, I don’t know, but I give up!

    Reply to Kyle's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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