Ah, winter. I gaze out the window at a pristine field of white (or, more often, a soupy mess of grey) and admire the stark forms of the shrubs and trees. And then I think–crap, still not enough structure.
Nearly every gardener I’ve ever met is seduced into gardening by herbaceous plants. Whether succulent vegetables, bright and brilliant annuals, or old-fashioned perennials, they lure you in with their sweet scents and riotous colors. You plant them in front of the house or around the garage, carve out a little kitchen garden, and admire them throughout the growing season.
Then winter comes and turns them into so much compost. And what are you left with? Nothing. Because as lovely as they are, annuals, vegetables, and herbaceous perennials die in the winter. In the case of annuals, they’re completely dead. With perennials, they die back to the root, ready to rise again in spring. But that doesn’t help you in the winter, when you really, really need something to look at to take your mind off the fact that you just got another six inches of snow and spring is an eternity away. Continue reading