In the winter garden, through the falling snow
Stars are gleaming, streaming, gleaming,
Down to earth below.
I'm not sure who wrote this (Nancy Foster?), but we used to sing it it Katherine's class and it has been in my head all day... and in the back of my mind I've been trying to figure out what to do with our garden before winter.
The family who lived in this house before us left a beautiful flower garden, and as recently as last week, we filled a vase with the last of the fall flowers. But after several nights in the teens, the green has finally turned to brown. Except for the pansies. They are a hardy bunch.
I've been asking friends what they do to their flower gardens in the winter, and everyone has a slightly different answer. I guess it is a personal decision: some like to cut down all the stalks, neat and tidy; others have very specific plans - straw covering for this, leaf covering for that, cut this down, leave that standing - depending on the plant; and a few simply do nothing. I sort of assumed I would fall in the neat and tidy camp (seemed like a nice middle ground that wouldn't require too much thinking on my part), so this afternoon I went out with my clippers to get things in order. I cut a few things here and there, but found myself hesitating.
As I hummed the Winter Garden song, I realized I wanted some sort of reminder of what was here all summer. Plus, the crunchy brown stalks are interesting in their own way. I bet they'll look quite nice in the first snow, before they are buried under what I hope will be many feet of snow (hey, if it's going to be cold and grey, then I want snow!)
So for now I'm going to leave the flower gardens as they are and see what happens.
And then it snowed! So here is how it looks in that first snow.