Winter isn't famous for color and interest in the garden, but the plants in the Linnaeus Teaching Garden offer proof that the winter landscape can be far from dismal.
This collage of images shows some of the many possibilities.
These pictures were taken in January, just weeks after a severe ice storm.
Many of the plants for the Linnaeus Garden have been chosen because of their ability to add to the winter palette. Even creamy-blond grass behind rusty azaleas can have a big visual impact.
The architecture of the walk and fence adds focus.
Some plants are chosen as much for the structural beauty of their limbs as for their foliage. After the leaves fall, these plants really stand out.
The Coral Bark maple is such a plant. It has beautiful red winter twigs which are the attraction with this fine Japanese maple. The bark on the new twigs turns bright coral red after the leaves fall and contrasts wonderfully against snow, sky, or grass.
Good architecture is always vital, but especially in winter when the bones of a garden are exposed. The layering of the rocks does double duty both as backdrop and as staging for the colorful plants.
The mirror of the water at the base brings in all the fun of reflections.
Using plantings large enough to make a statement is essential. By using a sweep of pinks,the foliage color is able to hold its own against the scale of the rocks and junipers.
And the rich blue-green planting glows in counterpoint to the soft buff of the boulders.
Texture brings its own interest to a garden. Here,three distinct textures and colors - the glowing red nandina, soft feathery stipa and lively blue-green juniper - contrast dramatically with the roughness of the rock.
So "What's in Bloom - Winter" is not actually about blooming. Instead, Winter's cold, sometimes gray days feature interesting displays and colors provided by leaves, texture, stems, and grasses - with pools of bright pansies added for contrast in those garden spots where subtle needs a little lift.
By Betsy Mickey
Photos by Marc Schreiber
last updated December 16, 2013