Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Gardening: Structure (Part 2)

Structure is the "Bones" of the garden. Structure tells us there is something in the in the way of landscaping in the area.

Some people consider structure to be the walls, floor and ceiling of your garden. This is very true because if you relate garden structure to the structures of your home, the walls, ceiling and floor are the backbone and framework.

Just like in your home the structure can be made up of many different materials, so too in the garden. For example: walls in the home can be; painted drywall, textured stucco, brick, stone or paneling or any number of creative materials. In the garden, walls can be; a metal wall, tree trunks, lattice, a shrub border, fences, a greenhouse, flowers, stone walls, or any number of materials.

The first picture shows a linear deck rail with very linear and bare tree trunks in the distance. These are the "walls" of my garden. The branches, which so happily hold the snow, are the roof.

You really can't see the floor of my garden in the first picture, but if you look at the second picture you can clearly see the patio stepping stones in the corner of my sidewalk and driveway through the melting snow. One knows there is something there, even in the winter time (of course you might not see them if there was too much snow but you might still see the outline of the sidewalk garden just beyond the stones).

Gardeners in the north where winters can be harsh need to make maximum use of structure to tell them where the garden is and to frame the sleeping garden during the deepest, darkest part of winter.

Structure will not be as important to southern gardeners as color and texture will play a larger role since plant material in the south is likely to still be growing in the south.

On a personal note, I would like to say thank you to my friend Anonymous, her husband and their four children for hosting Jimmy and I all day yesterday. I never once looked at my watch and was stunned to find we spent about six hours at their lovely home when we finally departed last night. We both had a great time talking and Jimmy says he'd love to come again (me too)!

in the garden....


  1. Quiet in here today. Been here 3 times waiting for someone to talk....guess it is up to me for Hi everyone, when you get here.

  2. Hey Mom,
    I am still here. People are busy with holidays or maybe just relaxing like me. The season just seems to bring resting now.

    I am trying to figure out how to operate my new landscaping software. Very frustrating. Take care and don't worry there will be some more comments later when things slow down. love tina

  3. Hi Guys,
    Took a couple pictures of my structure this am, I have to wait til Jack of all trades gets home, don't know how to put it in my pictures. As mom knows we got more snow last night and more due tomorrow, back to every other day.
    It was real heavy snow last night and I had been promising you some pics of my birch, I threw in the pic of the concealed play yard for giggles.
    ( I could ramble about the Pats, Mom you must know about that by now)

  4. Send it to me. I will post some northern structure. Can't wait to see it.

    Too bad you all don't get the m stewart garden show. it was great when it was on. i sometimes watch p.allen smith. he is good but there are not enough gardening programs on the tele at all!

  5. Ya, I figure maybe some will talk over the weekend and then by next weekend it should be back to normal. But, then again some may wait till the spring gardens start up.

    Yes the snow was very heavy. The trees were gorgeous this morning but once the sun got at them it was gone. We only got a couple of inches and we are susposed to get rain on the coast with the next storm.

    As for the Pats. They will make history tomorrow night unless they fall completly apart, which is possible, so I have my fingers crossed. I may even watch it. Oh, no, not me watch football! My goodness I may have to rethink that. It was susposed to be only on the NFL cable station but channel 6 is getting to pick it up because of the record breaking possibillity. As I am sure you know, Dawn, no team has won every game in one season. Now, how bout the Celtics. First the Red Sox then the Pats, next the Celtics. BOSTON REIGNS!!!! However no one in any sports will outdo what the Celtics did back in the 50's and 60's. At least that is what the pundits say.

    Love ya both.

  6. Tina,
    Sent you those pics taken today.
    I know, you would think we could get M S gardening esp. since she has a home in Maine.
    The only "good thing" I got was having scissors labeled for their purpose, that way my kitchen scissors don't get coated with sticky juices from opening freeze pops all the time. Kids!

  7. Ok Mom, your posted at the same time mine did-Celtics are starting to be repeated in the evening news, know they are doing great! Might be our year-Pats are not only going to set the all season record but Brady has one touchdown pass to tie the record for t/d passes in one season. He has been averaging two or more per game. Seats on E-bay (selling from giants of course!) 80$ seats for 2500.00$ Sky seats-26,000.00$, holy cow! Even the Pats say it should be reserved for the superbowl. You should watch, I find myself yelling, RUN, RUN, RUN!
    Last I knew Tina Tenn. was "in the hunt" meaning they are favored (if this wins, that wins) Might be funny if they go and are against the Pats.
    PS. also airing on cbs, something...HUH!!?! Was only to be on satelite until our goverment got involved. Can"t they pull with the IRS??? Or on time better spent.

  8. Tina
    I want you to know that I checked my Structure and Bones. It sure is a different way of looking at the yard. Now I am seeing an anoying imbalance....a fixable one with time. I like very much the way the garden changes. I like having some control but also the surprises.

  9. Just had to share this one from the Deep South...
    We sat at the patio table in the back yard and the Saint was wearing shorts as we sipped hot tea and ate Christmas cookies yesterday! Drizzle rain today so we will have our sweets in the sunroom with no sun... Sure will be glad when all the sweets are out of the house! We have so many that we had to freeze some for a later time! Today starts the decoration dismantling. I hate to see it come down because I love all the color and glow in the house but it must....

  10. Good morning everyone!
    Great day that it is. The sun is shining and birds are singing so I am happy. Yeah!

    I will be keeping an eye on the Pats and Giants tonight. Rooting for the Pats. I used to really like the Bills, but lost interest when we came home from Germany. In Germany, the game was always broadcast when we had no choice but to watch it! Got into then and even more when an old acquaintance finally told me how football works. What is first down anyhow?:) Now I know. Don't worry Dawn, the Titans won't make it to the end. Never do. I think they choke on the pressure.

    Ginger, I am sure your bones and structure are great. Imbalance or not-just need something there! Right?

    Skeeter, you guys enjoy the warmth. I think sometimes I too wouldn't mind living in Georgia during the wintertime. How's Minnie? She looks a little like Ginger's Doris Day, just smaller. Good luck dismantling all those decorations. It will seem like a new house once they are packed away.

    til later....waiting for those pictures from Dawn before I post. Tomorrow will be part three of winter gardening. Check your structure-next is form.....

  11. Tina,
    Sending you pics now, tried for 1/2hr then could not get back here, kept timing. Cleaned up everything and re booted. (will try both)

  12. Three Christmas trees down and all packed away. The other two will be taken down tomorrow. I ran out of steam...

    Minnie is doing great! Once mom and dad B left the house, she knew she was ours and she has acted like our doggie ever since! The cats are a bit upset with the Saint as he has spent most of the day in the sunroom with Minnie and they did not get any attention from daddy. So he went to the office to watch the football game with them while Minnie and I watched the game in the sunroom together! She and I played our own game of ball for about 45 solid minutes with my throwing it and her running and retrieving it. She is a good ball player but has not figured out how to catch it yet. She just chases it thus far. I will work with her to teach her how to catch it....

    Was a good football game but I do like Ely Manning and was sorry he had to be the team to loose to the Patriots...

    Okay time for bed....

  13. Skeeter you are doing good to get three trees down and must have lots of steam! That is a lot of work.

    I am glad Minnie is fitting in well. The girls will get over it. I keep trying to get my kitty to come in the house and she refuses because of two of the dogs. BJ loves her. So I guess cats can be picky and upset at times but they'll be fine.

    My mother and sister must be beside themselves since the Pats won again. They are big fans and I was waiting for someone else to talk about sports. Yes, I know, it is a gardening blog but HEY! everything goes and sports are fun too as everyone has different likes and nothing else gets people talking as much as sports.

    Get the rest of your decorations down then relax!