When Winter Won’t Wait

” I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That’s art to me.”  ~Maya Lin


What is the garden if not a work of art….a creative design, a work of love from our very soul.  So when our time is limited because of the seasonal change, and we must stop creating in the garden, we can become sad….at least I do.  It is the end of the growing cycle that I never like to see.  And this year, that end came abruptly with 3 snow storms in mid-November…..



a little one…..



a little more…..



and then a whopper burying us.  



We were so taken with surprise at the mums being buried, that we forgot to bring in our antique pots before the snow swallowed them. 



Snow was too early this year, for my taste, especially now that I have more time to spend in my garden.  But isn’t that always the way.  And I was hoping this taste of winter was a fluke, and we would have a thaw and continue with late autumn.  But no, winter could not be quelled….winter would not wait and it has claimed us now.  There is no turning back.

So what to do?  In the past I have taken to sulking and wallowing in the misery of the short days, frigid cold temps and an all-white landscape.  But this year, I knew I had to shift my perspective or be hopelessly lost and miserable for many months as winter will last through March.



I created my garden for 4 seasons, even winter.  And having explored this garden in winter over the years, I have found so much beauty.  So with my camera for consolation, I sought out the beauty in my garden as winter enveloped us.  Many of these scenes I photograph every year, but they never seem to get old for me.


Like the gazebo.  It is stunning in winter, and a focal point of my back garden seen from any viewpoint.  I can photograph it over and over, and it still brings me such peace in winter as I gaze on it snow-covered.



Or the pond…..it freezes, thaws and wears winter in so many ways and in so many colors. 



The snow recently (we have had 3 feet so far in November) was so heavy, it bent even the sturdier plants and grasses.  These are along the pond.



Our dwarf willows that flank both sides of the front porch also look lovely in their snow outfits every year.  With a little snow among the gnarled branches….



Or completely covered.



I knew winter had settled in when we had a hoar frost in November.  It covers the garden with bling, even our metal patio table.



And the only color sometimes I see in winter, is the maple flower buds tight in their red coats waiting for the warmth of spring.



I leave seed heads up in winter, not just for the birds, but for winter interest and this gardener’s joyful viewing.



And speaking of birds, the Juncos, also called snow birds, came just before the snow blew in.  That should have been a sign.



This male was digging deep in the snow along the fence to find suet that had fallen from the feeder.



And the sight of any tree, with each branched iced in snow, can still take my breath away.  As winter settles in, I will share more pictures, but I plan to also share my summer garden that I was unable to write about during summer.  And I hope to have a few indoor blooms and projects to share with you too. 



I will be taking a short hiatus for the rest of December as it has become a very busy time, and I want to slow down, savor the holiday season, and the winter Solstice.  But I will be back at the New Year to share more thoughts and views of my garden.  


How has late fall be treating you and your garden?


A Tribute Vase (from Summer) I Want to Share


Early in summer, just before I was derailed by a pesky back issue, I made a special vase to honor the memory of my Aunt Mary who had died July 3, 2017.  



I picked  wonderful sweet peas, a few pansies that were still blooming and an early zinnia and marigold.  A heavenly scented vase with so many favorite cut flowers, I know she would have loved it.

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. All the pictures shared in this post were created with my Nikon Coolpix camera or my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

48 Replies to “When Winter Won’t Wait”

  1. Your garden looks beautiful in the snow Donna. And your vase is a lovely splash of colour on a grey and rainy day here – no snow here for a while, just damp! A happy and peaceful Advent. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cathy. It has been quite damp and gray here too of late. I am glad I could brighten your gray day. Wishing you a beautiful and blessed December during this Advent season.

  2. Three feet! I do feel for you. But remember how good that snow is for insulating all your plants. We’ve only had minor snowfalls that have disappeared but with quite cold temps, especially overnight. I don’t like that without a good snow cover. You’ve done a lovely job creating winter interest which those of us who live in snowy climates really have to do if we want to enjoy our gardens year round. And once we get the gardening bug, as you say, we want to appreciate our garden no matter the weather.

    1. There are indeed so many benefits of snow. It is especially good for our gardens when those frigid temps hit. Glad you enjoyed the winter garden scenes.

  3. Oh, Donna I admire your light through the dark days. I remember those days so well and honestly, do not miss them. I have three days off and I think it will rain for all of them so no gardening here either, other than potting up some paper white bulbs! The basil and cypress vine I started at the community garden have been thoroughly chilled with the last cold front. Winter is here, there, and everywhere!

  4. Glad to hear that you are embracing winter, as it certainly looks like it is here to stay. Your yard photos are lovely, who can’t be wowed by those snow-lined trees?
    Meanwhile, indoor plants will have to see us through ’til spring. I potted up a few more bulbs to force in mid-winter. They’ll help get me through the waiting.

  5. Your garden is glorious covered in snow. Equally stunning is your artistry with the camera in capturing these seasonal masterpieces. Fall has been fairly mild here but temperatures this week are predicted to get down into the 20’s which is about as cold as it usually gets here. Keep warm!

  6. What glorious photos throughout the post, Donna – you have such an artistic flair and are using the new apps to great advantage. Thanks for sharing the tribute to your aunt as well – it is good to remember loved ones this way

    1. And thank you Cathy. I spend a long time on the photos as I explore the apps. I can get lost in them for hours. Good creative endeavor when the snow flies. I hope to post more tribute vases once the flowers bloom again indoors and out.

  7. I’m not sure how I’d feel about the cold (I complain when our temperatures dip below 60) but I always find snow and its effects beautiful and your wonderful photos are further evidence of that. We’re actually colder than usual at the moment, even though we had summer-like heat well into fall. My garden is currently less colorful than usual but growing never stops here. I think you need a winter cottage in SoCal, Donna!

  8. It’ such a transformation, I think that’s why we always take photos and it look so calm and serene. Your photos are so beautiful. I always feel the need to take a photo when I see a rainbow. Instead I should just drink it in.

  9. Love your winter wonders.
    I pondered as I read your post. I am a curator rather than a creator in the garden. And thoroughly enjoy winter. A quiet time. A contemplative time. And often an elegant time…

  10. I really enjoyed your snowy pictures Donna. I know the winter can be long and hard – especially where you are, but there is much to be enjoyed in this quiet period. I am looking forward to spending long evenings catching up with my TBR book pile once the festive season is over. Your vase is a lovely tribute to your aunt and a great reminder of what we have to look forward to. Enjoy your holiday season! xx

  11. Dear Donna: Your tribute vase for your aunt is lovely. I so agree: Winter came wayyyy tooo early this year. I’m hoping this means we’ll have an early spring, but you never know. Shifting the perspective is a good coping mechanism!

    1. Thank you dear Beth. Yes we do have to cope with winter when it keeps us locked in its frozen grip for 4 months. I hope we have a normal spring without too much snow come March.

  12. What a thoughtful beautiful post, Donna. I love your artwork as well as photos of your garden – very evocative. I always have mixed feelings about winter but for the past few years I’ve been using the dark months as a chance to review my garden photos and make plans for the new season.

    1. That’s a great idea Lynn. I am planning a similar endeavor which I think will give me lots of inspiration even though the garden make over I need to do is a bit daunting. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment!

  13. Donna, I love all the textures in your artwork. What app do you use?

    I know it’s a bore to be knee-deep in snow, but I actually really miss it! Funny how the brain forgets the cold, the slipping on ice, all the shoveling and salting to only remember how pretty snow is.

    1. Thank you Karen. I use the Pixlr and Prisma apps. We actually love winter but not for 4 months and over 150 inches of snow on average does wear on you. So we usually go away for a couple of weeks to get a break. I lived in a desert climate for 2 yrs and moved back to the 4 seasons and winter snow so I know how you feel about missing it.

    1. Thanks so much Pam. We were able to rescue the pots and they are safely in the garage with no lingering damage I hope.

  14. Our snow is all melted, so now it doesn’t look all that wintery. This is a good time for watching the birds in the back garden and at the feeders. I love the photographs of your garden covered in snow.

  15. Chilly evening here – but with an extra three feet of snow – I am really feeling the cold.
    Luckily we had half of next winter’s wood delivered today ;~)
    I can imagine some of your photos reworked as collage or tapestry.

  16. Hi Donna, I very much enjoyed your artistic images of your snowy garden. I feel like I have visited an enchanted winter wonderland in some far away place! ( Of course, you are pretty far from Alabama!)

    1. Thanks so much Deb. That was the effect I was after so I am pleased to hear your thoughts. It has been an artistic endeavor I have enjoyed. Did you get any snow from the latest storm?

  17. We did not get snow with the last storm, just lots of cold rain. But we did get an unexpected, lovely dusting on November 15; not sure if it would qualify as snow in your mind! However, it was enough to pull me outside to get photos for a blog post!

    Have a great week!

  18. Happy New Year Donna. I like your enthusiasm regarding Winter. Personally, I tolerate it, in fact, the best thing about January is, it’s closer to Spring than November is. Just thought I would cheer you up.
    Your grumpy friend Alistair. ps, your Winter shots are seriously artistic.

  19. Hi Donna, I love these, all beautiful and turned into works of art. The tribute to your aunt is especially sweet. I do hope your back issue has improved by now. A little belatedly but Happy New Year 🙂

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