A Winter’s View
“A short story is what you see when you look out a window.” - Mavis Gallant
January rings in the year with a shiver and crisp blanket of white on what can be the loveliest of winterscapes. I personally prefer to admire these scenic vistas from a cozy spot on the couch wrapped up in a warm blanket with the fire going or candle burning. The large picture window in the living room holds my gaze as the snow-clad landscape takes center stage.
In landscape design we strive to frame a view, and in essence, this is what a window does. The window becomes the picture, framing winterlands that are the stage backdrops for scurrying rabbits, flitting birds, browsing deer, and other wildlife brave enough to venture out. Trees, woody shrubs, and evergreens set the stage with their strong lines of architectural structure. Perennials play a role in the story if left standing over winter, attracting finches and other birds. They also capture bits of snow which can be enchanting in a way. I always leave Echinacea and Stonecrop Sedum standing for these reasons. We are learning more and more about how pollinators depend on the stems of ‘dead’ perennials like Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum) and the perennial Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), so this is another reason to leave them alone and not cut back.
Birds are the main characters in the winter stories providing hours of entertainment. They gather at the feeders as means of survival, yet unbeknownst to them, they fascinate us - young and old alike. It’s like living television or a front row seat at the theater with a new play every day.
Here are a few ways to enhance the story you see out of your window:
January can seem to be the longest, slowest month, but enjoy the beauty it offers, especially the view out your window. What story do you see?
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!