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Forcing A Change In Focus

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – January 13

Two years ago we planted three rhododendrons in the woods between the house and the lake. The following winter I’d gaze out on these three small shrubs and think, “I need to plant more.”

Last summer I bought three more rhodys, larger ones this time, and we planted them just above the first group. Now I gaze at this snowy landscape and think, “I’ve got to plant more.”

This isn’t a mere tale of plant-greed, however, but an acknowledgment that if it weren’t for the winter season I wouldn’t be paying much attention to this part of Poison Ivy Acres. The flowerbeds around the house, the shade garden along the drive or the vegetables would be drawing my time and focus with their colorful flowers, foliage and produce.

In the winter, when those areas sleep under the snow, I’m called to notice the quieter areas that would benefit from evergreens that not only blend into this natural landscape but add to it in the snowy season.

Sometimes we’re well served by the changes that force us to place our attention on new areas.

Here is how the area looked at 4 PM today. One rhody is out of this photo, on the left.

And here, thanks to some quick Photoshop work, is where I would plant three more.

2 Responses to “Forcing A Change In Focus”

  1. 1

    Although if you did fill in with more shrubs, after they matured wouldn’t you lose some of the nice “see-through effect” that draws the eye into the woods?

  2. 2
    CL Fornari:

    What this photo doesn’t show is that this area is only about an eighth of the total area between the house and the lake, and all of the remaining area has trees with that “see-through effect”. We do prize this lake-through-the-trees view that only appears in the winter. Also, since the house is so much higher than those Rhodys, even when they are fifteen to twenty feet high, we’ll be looking over the tops of them and into the trees beyond. I can hardly wait!