Temperature doesn’t measure the arrival of Winter in Minnesota. Our landscapes usually do.
If one bothers to look, Winter in Minnesota is equal to Spring and Fall in the quality of its beauty offered by sight. Outdoor viewing during and immediately after snowfall creates a landscape garden aura of its own…..if there is a landscape garden in site, that is.
And, let us thank God, this garden “aura” doesn’t occur in summer as it has in mid May and late September upon occasion in my own life time. It might otherwise make winter living unbearable in our Northland.
The setting below was photographed during a late autumn hoar frost and light snow fall a few years ago at our Masterpiece Farms near Maple Lake, a bit northwest of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. I grant the photo is not an inspiring and incredible beauty to advertise as a landscape garden if color was its primary measure. Winter in Minnesota is six months long folks….equal in length to all other landscape seasons combined.
Imagine what this photo, and therefore the setting, would look like without the planted plant material. There it is in the background, a background unattractive and uniform enough to make viewers focus on the textures, forms, and “colors” of the garden plants and the positioned boulder in the foreground.
When you first spied the photograph, what captured your eye first?????
We know, for most viewers, it was the boulder…..Why? At immediate glance the eye quickly picks up the full setting more or less without noticing form, that is true….but only for an instant….There is no color to attract ones searching eyes, folks. No yellows or whites surrounded by masses of green to grab your mind.
Moreover there are a couple of Nature’s arrows pointing to the boulder….White, frosty ones according to my eyes. Without a doubt the darkness and texture of the Arborvitae foliage corners the boulder pronouncing its existence to capture your eye.
Will anyone want to sit there? Perhaps….but for the landscape garden uninitiated, probably not, unless there is a spectacular scene to the right, somewhere in its horizon, if one does.
Landscape Gardening is ideally an Art form based upon soul, knowledge of plants, space, texture, and form, even fragrance…. Tricks of the Trade, ideally, an art form when at its best, is designed to impress and then capture the human eye to inspire the human soul.