Thyme to Catch Up
Winter is a wonderful time for gardening. Shrubs with "winter interest" add beauty to your garden and provide food and shelter for birds and animals. A winter garden is especially delightful if you're looking at the picture from your Florida bungalow or sitting in front of a warm fireplace, curling your toasty toes. Fall cleanup is a chore, so maybe next year you might like to leave part of your garden standing.
In winter, the grasses are exceptional, and the coneflowers and the achillea wear little white hats. Frost edges the leaves, icicles hang from the bottoms, and the bright red holly berries compete with the male cardinals for color. The contrast between red and white is stunning.
By leaving grasses and other perennials stand during the winter months, you'll be feeding and providing shelter for your winter friends as well. Try mixing bird seed with lamb tallow or beef suet. The added fat boosts metabolism and provides valuable calories while insects are not available. The only drawback to your winter garden is in the spring. You'll have a little more cleanup to do, but isn't it sweet knowing you not only added beauty to your yard in winter, you fed the wildlife as well?