My last post focused on one aspect of winter...the moody, somber, introspective side of the season. I had only to wait for the sun to peek out from behind the clouds, however, to reveal the flip-side.
The bright winter sun transformed the frosty garden in an instant...suddenly I was surrounded by glowing beacons of light.
How utterly delightful...to have each bit of frost capturing and reflecting the sun.
Calamagrostis, which had earlier seemed almost menacing was now giddily gleaming.
Beneath its icy veneer, the leaves of Panicum 'Northwind glowed like blades of amber.
Panicum 'Huron Solstice' burned with shots of crimson, edged in diamond filigree.
Pennisetum 'Desert Plains' has never looked more becoming.
The light caught in the grasses at this moment...almost blindingly so.
I love how the frosted edges enhance the elegantly recurving blades of Panicum 'Huron Solstice' here.
Deschampsia are never more magical than when they are lit from behind...especially when covered in rain or frost.
I'm always amazed at how long Allium blooms contribute something valuable to my garden...even in the dead of winter.
Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven' has bleached to a pinky-beige by this point in the winter...but whenever they are dry for a day or so, they fluff right up and delight with their seed heads. Plus, all it takes is a little light to ignite their foliage once again.
I'm not sure what it is about them...but the shapes of the leaves on 'Blue Heaven' fascinate me to no end.
The once-somber seed heads of Echinacea look resplendent in their shimmery veil of Panicum, don't they?
Of course, I wasn't the only one who was enjoying the morning...although Boots seemed more impressed by the sun that the frost.
Another Panicum (can you tell I love Panicums yet?) 'Blood Brothers'showing off it's graceful winter foliage. I love how this one and 'Huron Solstice' maintain their red-tinted foliage all winter. 'Shenandoah' turns blond after the first freezes, but these other two seque into muted maroon, umber and burdundy.
Sadly, I'll soon be cutting all these grasses back...perhaps even starting this weekend if I'm so inclined. They've provided interest in the garden all winter...but it's almost time for them to be cleared away for the growth of spring.
Here's the Northeast corner of our property...which goes several months during winter without seeing much sun at all. At this moment, however, that seemed to change. Our days are getting longer and longer...and this particular morning seemed a watershed for the season. One last gift from winter before we move on to spring.
As funny as it sounds to many, February is the gateway month here in the PNW. True, we can still have frosts for the next month or two (perhaps even snow), but Spring is fast approaching. Many plants are already waking up...and I'm glad to turn my face to the sun and start dreaming of spring now.