December – field of vision

It’s too easy to lose sight of the garden at this time of year. It’s freezing cold; we’ve gone indoors; we’re focused on the holidays. But what I realized the other day, when I took a walk through the garden is that this might be the very best time to really see the garden clearly – and not just because of the transparency of defoliation. Red and green might be the iconic colors of December but gardeners and nature lovers see a whole range of hues in our field of vision. December is rendered in quiet earth-tones like verdigris, ochre, charcoal, pewter, Payne’s grey and raw umber as well as about a million different shades of deep green, and gem-like crimsons. Most of December’s colors fill the background at other times of year – barely visible for being easily overlooked, but they are the foreground now. And that inside-out color shift seems to turn all of the other colors on the wheel into precious pigments of our imagination.

I can mentally picture the garden – my own especially – as I’d like it to be in all seasons, much more easily now than when it’s filled with summer and fall colors – but while I can still remember them; and before the garden is beautified by snow’s contrast or full of the distraction of spring’s hopes. And the ideas flow even more freely as I walk around Blithewold where I can plainly see the plants and colors that would make my own December garden more complete. And I have this hunch (call me crazy but I get to see these gardens every day so I know whereof I speak) that a garden that is sublime in December is bound to be beautiful the whole year round. I’ll save specific examples for a later post.

Are you looking at your garden right now? What do you see?

4 thoughts on “December – field of vision

  1. You know I’ve always been a winter fan. As for me, it’s not time to lay about either; I’m still out working in the garden as we just transplanted a 20 ft. fir yesterday. We’ve still got shovels and hoses out here!

    Shovels and hoses? Haven’t you already had snow? (and here I am getting into my bear suit and settling in for a long winter’s nap!) -kris

  2. Had snow, but it’s warmed up and melted. It’s been raining for the past couple of days here. Head scratcher that’s for sure. In fact, I was remembering how in 1994, it got so warm in January that early daffodil bulbs were coming up and forsythias were breaking. THAT scared the crap out of everyone.

    eeu. creepy. I really hope you haven’t seen the last of winter this time around. -kris

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