lombardy poplarPassing through the February winters while the spring may officially be a few weeks away, gardeners know that it is a good time to embrace winter and make the most of it and let spring come when it is good and gosh darn ready.

Winter can be a delightful time of the year in the garden. Deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves and it is a good time to reflect on the forms they leave behind. Deciduous trees and shrubs remind of the popular terms associated with like “vase shaped” or “columnar” or “globe shaped” or “weeping”.

Such leafless forms add winter specific look to your garden. Purple Slender Weeping Beech is one such winter tree with pendulous and somewhat contorted branches draping down from its erect central leader.

There are many forms of trees that have distinct growth habits from what we might think of as the tradition round canopy of a tree. Lombardy Poplars for example are the classic upright columnar tree that has been planted in rows for centuries for windbreaks. And for anyone that might have a pond on their property, no water feature is complete without a weeping willow at the bank. The trees and shrubs come in all shapes and forms and winter is the ideal time to explore the infinite possibilities that exist in these wonderful plants.

You may grow  Cornelian Cherry with its spidery yellow blooms, a small tree that can last a full two months. Many perennials that bloom in the winter include Cyclamen coum and English primroses and early blooming bulbs like snow drops and winter aconite.

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