Wednesday Vignette – winter interest

It’s easy to forget, now that everything in the garden is in full, fabulous glory, but back in February, parts of my garden were completely devoid of anything worth seeing. Unless you enjoy studying the varying shades of wet soil, that is. In my defense, I don’t spend much time out there when it’s cold and wet, but still… this needed to be remedied. Of course I knew there was stuff in there – I even sort of remembered what it was, and that it looked decent all taken together. But, obviously, I couldn’t see anything, since it was all dormant, so planting anything else would have to wait until the established residents started to emerge.

Come March, I wandered into Lowe’s for something else but, as is customary, took a little detour through the garden section which was starting to fill up with plants. I discovered this nice, new (to me, at least) Euonymus from Monrovia called ‘Paloma Blanca’. I fell for its white new growth, and grabbed one. Since then, it has patiently sat waiting for me to figure out where it should go. I think I finally figured it out – it will hold year-round court in the naked mud bed I so lamented in February. This spring, I also added a Carex ‘Sparkler’ a double, green Hellebore, and at least one evergreen fern, so I will have something to look at next winter. I think Paloma will fit right in, don’t you?

Cramscaping for shade 1

You can see Paloma in the lower left corner. She has an upright, narrow-ish demeanor, which makes her easy to fit in, even in a very cramscaped space. Other players in this scenario are the aforementioned Carex ‘Sparkler’, and an Arisaema fargesii, barely visible on the far left, followed by the somewhat thuggish Impatiens omeiana, Ghost fern, a recently planted Musa basjoo, and old fave Hakonechloa ‘Allgold’. All except ‘Sparkler’ turn to relative mush or disappear altogether when temperatures drop. The white tips on Paloma have a little more green in them than when I purchased it. I chalk that up to me giving it a little more shade than is ideal. No matter, so far, it still does what I want it to do – the shade in this particular spot is of a brighter variety. When that Banana grows up – well, then we’ll see… fingers crossed!

Cramscaping for shade 2

Both the similar form and color of the ‘Sparkler’ and Impatiens are variations on a theme, so I think breaking it off with the altogether different texture of Paloma will work just dandy, and turn winter drab to dapper. Can’t get over the size of that Arisaema leaf – it is positively MASSIVE! 

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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19 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – winter interest

  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I like all the textures and shades of green in your photos. Are they herbaceous? I’m asking because you said they turn to mush in cold temps. I’m assuming they don’t have to be replaced each year.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, and yes! The original residents are all herbaceous perennials, and needed a little evergreen help to carry the show through winter – or at least not making it a complete intermission.

  2. Mark and Gaz says:

    That is quite nice but I keep zooming on to the impatiens!

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s a good one, isn’t it? I got a small start from a friend and, as she warned me, it happily expands every year. Not that I mind… 😉

  3. Peter Herpst says:

    The textures and color combinations are wonderful and it’ll be swell to have some nice evergreen players to carry this area through winter!

  4. Kris P says:

    Winter interest and summer glory! I love the impatiens too, although I’ve given them up due to their water requirements. My own WV features more drought resistant summer stand-outs:

  5. Tina says:

    Nice combo! I love the ‘Sparkler’ Carex–I have three, would love more, but they are hard to find.

  6. annamadeit says:

    IKR? It’s like when I found a bag of Clematis babies (including two C. florida sieboldii) at Costco for maybe ten bucks… Half the time, a walkthrough is not worth the effort, but occasionally you strike gold. So I always take the detour – you just never know what you’ll find!

  7. hb says:

    That is a lovely mix of foliage! The impatiens may be a thug, but it seems like plant thugs have some compelling beauty to them–otherwise we would not allow them in our gardens in the first place.

    I too am struggling with some areas that look Really Bad in the winter, even though Aloes provide some spectacular winter interest. Different climate, same dilemma.

    Combos in my vignette, too.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Hoov! This particular thug is not that difficult to remove, as needed. Or, perhaps I should say it att least it seems fairly cooperative, so far. I think we all have those drab spots in winter, which I guess gives us something fun to ponder during the cold season. 😀

      I tried commenting on your fabulous vignettes, but have been having trouble interacting with the Blogger platform, so I don’t know if my comment took. Here it is again, just in case it didn’t:

      “I think you need to give yourself some credit HB – all of those are wonderful combos! The first and last ones are my favorites, though, and totally blew my socks off. Never heard of Hummania until today, but won’t forget now. Just lovely!”

  8. tonytomeo says:

    Lowe’s? I don’t think that you are supposed to admit to that.

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