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Home Create a Winter Window Vignette
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From December until March much of the pleasure we get from our gardens comes from the view out our windows. Perhaps you have your coffee every morning by a window in your family room, before you go off to face the stresses of your job. Or you might be lucky enough to work from your home, and glancing out the window of your home-office gives you a moment of respite from the rigors of your day.

Here are some tips for making the most of the season of short days and long thoughts, with a window vignette:

  • Think of the windows you looked out as a child and incorporate something from that view into what you see outside your window today. Did you visit the home of a favorite grandmother frequently? What was outside her windows? Could you see her hydrangeas? Or perhaps you heard the chirp of chickadees when you looked outside the window of your family’s summer cabin. Then place a feeder outside your current special viewing spot with food that attracts chickadees.

  • Select interesting evergreen and winter-blooming plants and arrange them to play up contrasts of light and dark as well as the features of structure and pattern. Then add a splash of color accent against the bold background. An example of this might be the snow on dark green evergreens with the contrasting lacy form of a leafless birch, dotted with the scarlet berries of a holly.
  • Place a sculpture within view that reflects the mood you’d most often like to capture from your winter window. A perky squirrel perched on a log might bring whimsical thoughts to mind, whereas an angel or Saint Francis figure would be more calming and soothing. Be sure that your sculpture is made up of material that can withstand the winter conditions in your area.
  • Feeling lonely and blue this winter? Birds can be the most amusing companions. Invite them with a feeder and you’ll soon have entertaining companionship.
  • Train your eye to enjoy the natural ‘etchings’ that Old Man Winter provides: the branches of a young viburnum with a background of snow, or the play of shadows from deciduous tree limbs, such as those of the lacy birch tree, floating on beige grass.
  • Now that the nights are longer, outdoor lighting becomes even more important. Install a lamp post that adds a soft light to your garden, or place lighting in your trees to shine down on interesting bark textures against the contrast of soft drifts of snow.

Take a moment to think about what windows grace your special spots in your home and analyze the views you see from them. Winter doesn’t have to be dull and dreary. When you view your winter window vignette, the fourth season can be full of dreams and beauty.