Press-Republican

Columns

January 7, 2013

Gardens pretty with some snow

My perennial garden looks great right now. Yes, I do mean right now, the first week of January. 

It’s not as colorful as it is in mid-July when the plants are in flower, but it’s still pleasing to the eye. I can see this garden from the window over our kitchen sink, a place I seem to spend a lot of time, so I like to make sure I’ve got something interesting to look out at.

My garden’s good looks are thanks to that beautiful layer of snow that fell last week.

I leave many perennials standing through the winter, and I also have some shrubs and ornamental grasses in my garden. They look OK with no snow, but a several-inch layer of the white stuff really sets off the plants that stand above it. The snow is fresh and clean and seems to glow long after the sun has set, especially if the moon is out.

Regular readers have heard me extol the virtues of sedum “Autumn Joy” (every perennial garden should have a clump or two). This variety of sedum flowers late in the summer, and its tall, flat-topped flower heads persist throughout the winter. Because the heads are flat, they hold the fresh snow very nicely. The stems are quite stiff and can stay vertical through most, if not all, of the winter.

Sometimes a particularly heavy, wet snowstorm will topple their stems, but it’s amazing just how much they can take before that happens. I love seeing the snow pile up on those flower heads.

I have three different types of ornamental grasses in my garden, and they usually stand up beautifully all winter. The miscanthus, or fountain grass, is almost 5 feet tall with large, fluffy seed heads that are especially showy as the sun sets behind them. I also have a clump of  panicum switchgrass that stands about 4 feet tall and has a finer texture.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time