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Winter Interest Worth Waiting For

These ideas will help you take advantage of the stunning plant forms that have been lurking in your garden all season long

Fine Gardening – Issue 179

You have to plan ahead for winter interest. The downside of that is, you have to put in the effort first and hope for a payoff. The upside is that the payoff isn’t hard to come by, and all you have to do in winter is walk around and enjoy the results. A large part of what becomes winter interest is stuff that was already there, but you notice it more now. Color and texture are still present, but their influences recede. Form, however, increases its presence in winter. Branch structures that had been hidden beneath leaves suddenly show their architecture. Evergreen mounds and spires that spent the growing season as mere backdrops to showier companions now become focal points. The following scenes demonstrate the effectiveness of forms in winter. Use the plant combinations as recipes, or, even better, understand the design lessons they hold. That effort is sure to…

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