What could be more beautiful?

What could be more beautiful than to wake up on the first full day of spring, hear the birds singing their springtime songs, and find a few inches of snow on the ground? From what I understand, some of my friends around the country are not only enjoying an early spring, but this week, in many parts of the country, the temperatures will be summer-like! Since their weather could return to freezing temperatures and snowfall rather quickly, I hope they are enjoying their sneak peek at summer as much as I am enjoying our little taste of winter.

Snowy Garden

Around here, the month of March has been one of the snowiest ever. We have had three days with at least a couple of inches of snow on the ground and a two or three days that were filled with snow showers (and other forms of freezing precipitation). We haven’t had this many days with snowfall, in a three-week period, for as long as I can remember.

Snowy Garden

I love the snow. I loved it as a kid on those very rare occasions that we received it, and I have loved it every time it manages to fall in our temperate Pacific Northwest climate. Waking up to a garden full of great plants all topped with a generous helping of snow is a real joy. The snow seems to accentuate the shapes and textures of my conifers, and the way it clings to the branches of my Japanese maples and other deciduous plants is really quite stunning. I feel sad for my friends with large flat lawns and their narrow borders of spent flowers. The sight out their windows must be so… boring.

Snowy Garden

Seeing a hillside of large conifers, highlighted with snow, is truly a sight to behold. Smaller dwarf and miniature conifers also look great in the snowy garden, though heavier snowfall than we tend to receive will totally cover many of the smaller plants. As the dwarf plants mature with some size, they can add so much to the snowy landscape.

As much as I would love to feel the warming effects of the springtime sunshine, I am loving the bright white highlights of snow. I hope that you are enjoying your gardens this spring as much as I am.

Conifer Lover

11 thoughts on “What could be more beautiful?

  1. Beautiful pictures, Ed! We didn’t get half as much snow up here in Seattle, just a little dusting here and there. Thank you for sharing, I love to see the big conifers covered and it’s not often that I get to do so. They look just gorgeous!


  2. That’s true about summer like temps in Wisconsin Ed… Most everyday has been into the 80’s lately… I have magnolias blooming that were in the same phase last season on May 8th.. It’s actually too hot to be enjoyable but is supposed to get back into the 60’s for a few days prior to warming again. At this point a freeze would truly be disastrous. Thanks for the snow pics… I think I’d forgotten what it looked like! Last year in April we still had ten foot drifts in the gardens.
    Take care, Larry


    1. Glen, that is quite an open-ended question – there are so many! My first suggestion would be to visit the Iseli Nursery website and browse through the conifer lists there. You will then be able to make note of the plants in the Miniature category. Also make note of Zone hardiness. Many plants listed include a photo. Another suggestion is to frequent the Conifer forum at The Garden Web. Great bunch of helpful folks there. Join the American Conifer Society and get to know other conifer collectors. Many are willing to share cuttings or do plant swaps, and if nothing else, they will be able to point you in the direction to find some of the most rare, most tiny little conifers that your heart may desire.


  3. I love the snow, too, and it does look beautiful when it transforms the shapes of the garden. But I worry that it will break branches of my conifers, so I get out there with a broom and brush it off. Do you do this- is it helpful?


    1. Great question – there are many schools of thought on this one! A few things to consider before taking action with snow in the garden. One of the first is, do you live in a severe cold Zone? Will this blanket of snow help protect your plants from desiccating winds? Would you rather risk a broken branch or two, or a severely damaged or dead plant because you removed its protective cover of snow? Is the weather mild, and the snow wet and heavy? How susceptible is my plant to breakage from snow, and/or from being brushed with a broom? I think you see where I am heading here. It all depends on the specific plants and the conditions of the weather.

      Another alternative – and one that many nursery professionals use, is to wrap those plants that are more inclined to break in a heavy snow with string. Snugly (but not tightly) wrap the string in a spiral around your plant in autumn, sometime before your snowy season begins. This will give support to the branches as snow accumulates, freeing you up to enjoy the snow rather than fret about how it may damage your plants.


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