Let’s cut Winter a little slack

Cascades of dried grasses at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Admit it: they look even better against all the snow.

Some people live in the past. But as this Polar Voldemortex-blighted winter drags on and on, many of us long to live in the future. Spring! Spring! Please, be sprung already!

Tell me, why do we waste our energy on this? For pity’s sake, we need that energy to keep warm. While we’re shivering, let’s try a few affirmations about the value of a cold, snowy winter…

Snow is a wet blanket. By which I mean, snow cozies our tender plants and waters them at the same time. Toronto doesn’t always have snow in January; I’ll say it again. On the other hand, Winter 2013-4 has been bountiful. That’s it, bountiful!
When everything is brown and white, snow makes us appreciate subtlety and small pleasures – like the glow of an oak leaf sequin on W. Gary Smith’s Stooks & Punes. Under your snow goggles, keep those eyes open!
Summer may be a painter, but winter can be a sculptor, in love with shape and form.
While grasses dance in those wind-chilled winds, plants like peonies are enjoying their winter dormancy beneath the surface. Some plants (and many seeds) need winter’s chill to do their stuff.
Trees show us who they really are, without disguise. And all those buds hold promise. Promise!


  1. Winter is wonderful and the beauty is all around us…if only we would open our eyes. A few other great things about winter. We get to rest our weary bodies that were so busy tending our gardens. We have time to make plans for even more gardens. We have time read your blog. Love it.

  2. YES! All that lovely snow that crunches under your feet… the way cardinals glow red against that white backdrop… not having to towel the dog off when she comes back inside… the way snow covers my garden in a warm blanket… seed catalogues coming thick and fast in the mail… the anticipation of spring…

  3. The Music Garden west of Harbourfront on Queens Quay is worth a visit any time of year. With its unusual pines and wide variety of grasses, it's particularly beautiful in winter.

  4. Bountiful snow – I love it! It's nice to be able to slow down and notice the small things. I even enjoy the wildlife in winter. Nothing daunts them.

    But my grasses don't look that lovely, in January. They're starting to blow their way across the yard. I think I need some sturdier varieties.

  5. Beautiful photos! We needed a bit of snow to protect our plants when the Polar Voldemortex swept in! I keep my grasses and wildflower standing for the critters to use and soon I will need to cut them back. Fingers crossed for one snowfall to make them shine!

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