Now that you are spending less time in the garden, a bit more time can be devoted to critically assessing progress in the garden and planning changes to be made in the coming season.
A more formal design process could involve utilizing a base map of your property showing property lines, permanent features (house and garage).
|Decks above patio at back of house provide a variety of|
different vantage points to view yard and neighborhood
|The rock retaining wall has become essentially a permanent structure|
in our yard due to the huge size of the boulders stacked with
heavy machinery to create it.
|Arbors, statues, fountains and other architectural|
elements can help bring life to a dormant garden.
Now that leaves have fallen from the trees, it's a good time to review the current line, form and size of trees and shrubs that have grown since they were planted. Conditions of the site will change over time, with light and wind exposures changing as plants grow. Deciduous trees on the east and west sides that can cool a structure during the summer, allow passive solar heating in winter, that evergreens would not facilitate.
If drifting snow is a problem in the winter, windbreaks of trees and shrubs can act as living snow fences to control drifting. Lower shrubs planted on the windward side will trap snow before it blows next to the house. Because of the decrease in wind speed, snow will settle immediately downwind of from a windbreak or snow fence, so the windward row of the living snow fence should be at least 100' from the building or area to be protected from snow drifts. A minimum of two rows of evergreens and one row of shrubs is most effective for snow control. Winds will funnel around the ends of a snow fence. Avoid placing a row of evergreens along the west side of a driveway to avoid inadvertently causing snow drifts to form in the driveway. Some years we have found huge drifts to plow on our driveway as the wind blows off the lake up over that back side of the house dumping snow in front of the house, as more snow is funnel around the sides of the house to the front yard.
|A diagram of how wind and blowing snow are dispersed by a living snow fence.|
With google maps I am able to get an aerial satellite view of our neighborhood zooming in to see the permanent structures and existing planting beds in relation to neighboring houses:
Sherwood Google Map
|Winter view from our deck across street and empty lot to Lake Winnebago|
|View to the old boat landing to the northwest |
from our deck
Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ...
a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream.