As I learn more about gardening and garden design, I try to pay attention to how my garden will look in all seasons. While there's just no getting around the ugly brown and mush and otherwise unattractive death in the garden during winter, there are times when the winter garden is just beautiful.
We received 4-5" of new snow last night and today, and while it was still coming down, I went outside to take a look. Puffy white snow makes all the brown disappear, and it's then that you can see the beauty in the design of your garden. Snow even makes some of the ugly parts look pretty good.
The annuals and many of the perennials are gone, but some remain as snow-catchers. Taller grasses and shapely shrubs and trees are really what give the gardens and landscaping its structure, and maybe at no other time is this more apparent than when winter strips the garden down to its bare bones.
Walking through and around the property, I saw areas where I was quite pleased with how things appeared. Others didn't excite me, but when it all gets balanced out, I'm not unhappy. Then I looked at details - vignettes that the snow presented to my photographer's eye...
its cultivar is called 'Contorta'
Variegated English Ivy (Hedera Helix). Both have storage inside.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees (Picea glauca 'Conica')