I know a lot of you think I’m crazy, but you actually can garden in January! I actually took these photos last Wednesday, but life gets in the way, and I’m just getting to this post now.
I have this giant Japanese maple we inherited with the property in the front. I love Japanese maples, perhaps a little too much, and I go out of my way to take care of this one. She gets regular pruning and more. When this Japanese maple is fully leafed out, She casts shade and dappled light over the entire area where she is located. And that leads to grass being harder to grow. It is also an area of the garden that can get quite dry, so I have been looking at it with fresh eyes, and I decided it would be better off wood chipped and mulched.
So mulch is exactly what we did. And no not heavy mulch right up to the base of the tree. You only do that if you want to kill a tree, but a good 2 1/2 to 3 inches is what went down. I had a little help from a friend who had free time last week, so it was a job that went much more quickly than it would have normally, which is delightful.
I am not going to underplant the tree with more shrubs. What I am going to do are more bulbs. I have this idea in my head of how I want it to look, and I am going to start with species daffodils there. I think they will look terrific, and they will spread and they’re not giant traditional daffodils that you think of as cut flowers even they’re a little more wild. So yesterday I reserved bulbs for the fall with QDaff.
I have also just been wandering around my garden and into the woods checking on things. I have a whole bunch of holly seedlings in the woods which is awesome! I am letting them go, because someday it means evergreen winter interest, and I like that idea for my woods. I have been trying to get little bits of evergreen winter interest started along with my reforesting project of putting oak saplings in, but I lost a whole bunch of what I planted this past summer because of drought so I’m going to be starting over in a way. I haven’t quite decided all that I want to plant yet I know in the woods I want more Redbuds.
With the woods I am trying to stay native. The reason is simple: with the ever-changing weather patterns we are experiencing, I think it’s my best hope for survival. I have serviceberries started, and they are small but I am hoping they survive.
When you walk around your garden in the winter, it has its own life. It’s more angular. It’s more structural but there is still this winter garden. And the ultimate beauty of the winter garden is it can show you where you might want to go in the spring. I use the winter garden for thinking about things I want to rework or transplant or trim.
Winter in the garden is also the imagining season. Some people can’t do that. I can. And it’s just this weird thing is I envision what an area could look like. And then I plan and a garden isn’t static, it evolves.
Probably over the next few weeks I will start printing my roses. And dead heading the hydrangeas that have dried blooms on them.
But now? Now I need to stop procrastinating putting Christmas away inside. I am only halfway finished.