Winter Interest, Part 2

Winter interest part 2

I mentioned in the previous post that ways to create winter interest in our garden is to “think of the aspects to the garden that you like through the rest of the year, and then find winter tolerant providers– texture, colour, movement, smell”.

So a quick note on “movement”.

Wind causing movement of feathery plants:

Stipa tenuissima. Photo credit.

Stipa tenuissima. Photo credit.

Feathery grasses that "flow" in the breeze.

Feathery grasses that “flow” in the breeze. This Miscanthus will be brown now in January (picture was taken in July), but that just means you get not only the visual interest but also auditory interest–the crunchy/crackly sound of the dry grass blades.

Water flowing from fountain or stream:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This garden will have movement from the water  as well as the Pennisetum (Fountain Grass), altho’ it’ll be brown now in January, will still be “blowin’ in the wind”.

 

Thanks to Outdoor Makeover for the picture

Thanks to Outdoor Makeover for the picture

Here in coastal BC, we don’t often have to worry about freezing temperatures when it comes to water. But if you do, you may not have the luxury of letting your fountains continue fountaining through the winter. Check your night-time temperatures, and if it’s going to be below 0° C, just keeping it running through the night might be enough to keep it liquid. Unless it’s well below 0°.

Birds of course create an delightful amount of movement, and even more so if you provide “some of their favourite things”–food and water.

House finches

House finches and a junco at the bottom.

This feeder is filled with mostly black sunflower seed top and middle, and then Nyjer in the bottom section. (I was disappointed to learn that most Nyjer seed is imported from Africa or India. So much for 100-mile diet!) Enlarge the following clip to get  better view of the house finches “eating and spitting”. 

Chickadee having a little drink.

Chickadee having a little drink.

Besides keeping the feeder filled, I like to leave faded flower stems in the garden in the fall instead of doing a fall clean-up, so the birds can enjoy the seeds.

Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’–lots of seeds.

Rudbeckia hirta seed heads

Rudbeckia hirta seed heads. You’re right, this isn’t beautiful, but still provides joy when you see the birds pecking away at them.

Crocosmia seed heads. These are a big seed and I don't see much bird action around them. I wonder if I collected some and actually put them in the feeder?...

Crocosmia seed heads. These are a big seed and I don’t see much bird action around them. I wonder if I collected some and actually put them in the feeder?…

Stay tuned for the next post on “Water in the Landscape”.

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Grasses In The Garden

Grasses in My Garden–no, not MY garden, though after looking at these pictures, I’ll definitely be adding some of them to MY garden–and YOURS. Admittedly, you need to have a fair sized garden to really appreciate these, and as you’ll see, located in such a place where you’ll SEE the flowers and seed heads backlit by morning or evening sun. (I’ve written about this before.)

Miscanthus-sinensis Rotfeder_09sep07

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Rotfeder’ 09sep07

Miscanthus-Rotsilber_30okt0

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Rotsilber’

Pennisetum_alopecuroides 23sep07

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Herbstzauber’ 23sep07

Pennisetum_'Herbstzauber' 25sep06

Pennisetum ‘Herbstzauber’ 25sep06

Stipa-tenuissima_13sept05

Stipa tenuissima 13sept05

Evergreen Stipa tenuissima complements growing bulbs

Evergreen Stipa tenuissima complements growing bulbs. The only picture on this post that is my own.

Grasses

All this courtesy of Sandfrauchen’s Garden. Please visit her blog for amazing garden pictures, including THIS picture diary of garden renovation.