Many garden writers include a post at the end of every month that chronicles what has happened in their gardens in the weeks before. I’ve just finished reading one from England that turns me green with envy. So many blooms to write about, so much to enjoy.
Not for me. A view onto my garden, Glen Villa Art Garden in Quebec, shows a ground of white, bruised with blue-tinged shadows.
Trees are bare branches scratching the sky. And temperatures have been consistently low. Freezingly low. Too low to make anyone want to venture out into the garden.
Yet despite the cold temperatures and deep snow, on a sunny day there is much to admire. The columns that line the processional walk called The Past Looms Large, part of a larger trail called Timelines, stand out against a pale blue sky.
The painted lines on the posts that mark the hours at the Sundial, on another part of Timelines, are cheerfully bright, and their snow hats make me smile.
The deer tracks that wander through the woods reassure me that others are out, enjoying the snowy world.
Turkey tracks confirm the message.
So do the snowshoe tracks along La Grande Allée, the part of Timelines that crosses an old farm field. The crabapple trees (Malus ‘Dolgo’) wear puffballs of snow that will disappear when the wind blows hard enough.
Winter lets me see the garden and the surrounding landscape in different ways. The shadows of Tree Rings, a sculpture I made to honour the life of an old maple tree, always send a message about permanence and change, but that message is stronger when projected onto a background of white.
The curving line of the Fold in the Field disappears in summer but stands out clearly now.
Even the mounds of snow on the bed at the China Terrace look welcoming, as comfortable as the duvet on my bed inside the house.
Patterns on a frozen pond are feathers of ice.
The view down the stream is a clichéd postcard come true.
A tiny tree on top of a frozen dam sends a message of resilience and offers hope for the future.
Blades of grass laced with snow aren’t as obvious as flowers in bloom, but the subtlety of backlighting is just as appealing.
To me, at least. Beauty is where you find it, where you look for it, where you see it. Last month, I found it everywhere.
Here’s looking at you, owl. I hope you are enjoying the garden as much as I am.