There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Second Snowfall

Hello again,
It's been a while since I was last writing to you, and I apologize for that. I kept looking for something to write about and was having trouble. Yesterday, I was excited by the first snow, but I didn't want to be cliche and talk about the first snowfall. So here I am today talking about the second snowfall. That's unique, right? I really couldn't keep myself from bringing the camera out two days in a row. It's just too darn beautiful to do that. So here are some images that are seen at Midwest Groundcovers today.
Can you imagine cutting these back before they look like this? It's a travesty to think that so many people do not want to see this. Why? I could get all philosophical and say that people in general are afraid of death. But look at the life in these gals. They look ready to go with their white stocking hats firmly attached to their heads. Winter is amazing to perennials if you leave them be. At Midwest Groundcovers, we cut down our perennials in late March.
Linden allee
This is our allee of Lindens that are seen as you drive into our facility. There are a couple times a year where I'm excited to get this picture. The day they begin to bloom, they are remarkably fragrant. The first day of a hoarfrost is also pretty spectacular. But walking this road today gave me a sense of peacefulness the other two times don't express. I suppose the fragrance would be peaceful if I wasn't dodging vehicles at that time of year.
Even Sedum can look nice in winter. If left unpruned, each spent flower gives you a frosty bouquet.

Picea abies 'Pendula'
How can one not enjoy snow when it can create such dramatic images? I love this plant year-round, but it's this time of year when the drama is at its crescendo. Snow dripping from the needles mimicking the branches themselves. Sigh. If nothing else, it adds to an otherwise dreary winter garden.

Thuja Nordic Spire™
Peter's introduction from the A-Plant group. This conifer is stunning throughout the year with its pendulous branches and bright green needles. This is deer resistant because it has Thuja plicata as one of the parents. Come see ours next year as they mature into a loose hedge to divide the perennial gardens into two rooms.

Crataegus phaenopyrum
The architecture of the Washington Hawthorn with snow nestled upon its limbs is like the first steps into a well done Japanese Garden. It's a very tranquil sight. When looking closer at the Hawthorn, tranquility passes and fears of falling into the wretched thorns begins. On this day, I kept my distance and the emotion remained positive.

The view of the building from our Perennial Island. Imagine if we cut back the Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' like so many landscapers do. This picture would be boring and the landscape would feel incomplete. Winter interest is so important in doing a large design like this. Nobody likes looking at a sterile mass of cropped plants. Perhaps the practice of pruning in fall is why people take the beauty of winter for granted.

Panicum 'Dallas Blues'
When I walked past this grass, I thought it was reving up to throw some snowballs my way. It didn't. But I took a picture anyways. I was most impressed that the weight of the snow didn't topple this beauty. He's hanging in their pretty well this year. Wouldn't kids just love having this plant around. There's a stockpile of snowballs just ready to grab and chuck. And building a fort would be much easier, because they could just hide behind the grass.
Piet Oudolf Garden
When people come out here for tours, I always explain that Spring is the quietest season for this garden. You can clearly see why this time of year is not. Winter is perhaps my second favorite month for this garden. The structures of these plants in winter is a beauty far too often ignored. The same reasons why these plants look great together in summer are still apparent now. Spikes with umbels. Horizontal seed heads with grasses. Great contrasts from an amazingly gifted designer. How lucky are we that we get to enjoy this garden day in and day out?
Conifer Island
Our conifer island is a sight to be seen as well. Snows dusting the branches of Juniperus 'Maneyi' add marvelous details to the structure. The large Douglasfir is very pretty as well. You can see the very tip of the Seuss-like Picea pungens 'Pendula' in the background. That is one of my favorites on the island. If you have not encountered the conifer garden here, maybe you should. All our Junipers and Thuja that we sell reside here. There is nothing like seeing an established specimen to know for sure whether you like it or not. My guess is, you may not like everything, but there is something up there that will knock your socks off.

Happy December everyone. I hope this holiday season will treat everyone nice. Until next time, have a great day!

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