Winter Flowers

On this rainy March afternoon, it’s cheering to look out the window and see flowers blooming.  The pussy willow over our driveway is covered in white catkins.

There are all kinds of rules about how you should prune a tree.  I’ve ignored most of them with our pussy willow. 

Never cut back more than a third of a tree:  done that

Don’t prune in fall when the tree may be more susceptible to disease: done that

Remove crossing branches (if I did that, there’d only be 1 branch on this tree.

I may be oversimplifying a bit, but right now it seems that as long as you are comfortable with a saw, you can grow a healthy pussy willow.

Yesterday, at the middle school where I am helping students design a sustainable landscape, we walked around the school yard and noticed piles of trash, standing water, and bare twigs.  The students wanted to know what we could plant to make the garden attractive at this time of year.  Below are pictures of a few plants that are thriving in our yard, despite record snowfalls.

This witch hazel kept blooming while surrounded by 4 feet of snow.

Like the witch hazel, our hellebores survived the snow and look gorgeous.

We brought winter color inside our house with pruned aucuba and dried chili peppers that were hanging in the garage.