After hearing apocalyptic predictions about bad winter weather, we are experiencing a very mild winter here in the Chicago area. Today was in the 40s and partly cloudy. There’s no snow on the ground. But even in a mild winter, we have to live mostly without the things that we enjoy most in the garden: foliage, flowers, etc.
I’m usually pretty skeptical about “winter interest”. It seems to be a way of politely pretending that we’re happy with fish sticks when we really wanted trout almondine. Even so, there are plants that are attractive in winter in a puritan, minimalist sort of way. This is especially true of grasses.
I cut down most of the flowers in the front yard in late fall, but leave everything behind the house standing until spring. The front yard clean-up is partly to avoid irritating neighbors who prefer a more well-kept look. My younger son David, who frequently protests the presence in our yard of what he calls “giant brown stalky things,” shares their preference.
Below are some pictures taken today, plus one from late fall.