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  • Cathy Rees

3 Reasons to cultivate your garden for winter

1. Winter lasts longer than the other seasons combined in the north!

By winter, I mean the period when the deciduous trees and shrubs are leafless. For me that is from mid-October through nearly the end of May. Without leaves and perennials to fill the spaces, winter can be austere, but that doesn’t need to be bad. By paring the garden down to its essentials, winter shows us that simplicity can be beautiful. It is our job to find and enhance the beauty.

2. Seed catalog season can be plant catalog season and more.

Sitting snug in your comfy chair with a hot cup of tea, can count as gardening in the winter. Look out your windows to assess the views and consider new plantings that will have a winter presence. A screen, a focal point, a tapestry of twigs and needles are all possible. Browse plant catalogs and reference books for small trees and shrubs that would do well in your garden conditions and make a welcome addition. Write down your selections and stick to your plans when you finally get to the nursery amid all the flowery distractions in the spring.

3. Confirming or enhancing your connection with nature

Whether you like it or not, you may be connecting with nature more regularly in the winter. Think about all the planning it takes just to go outdoors! Once outside you get the rush of cold, crisp air, the bright sunlight reflecting off the snow and maybe even the tinkle of ice. Take in winter through all your senses to reaffirm your connection in every possible way.

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