I don’t find brown, lifeless plants particularly interesting. Many don’t have any notable form or shape. They’re just dead things sticking up with maybe some seeds or pods at the top. Not so interesting. Let the birds take the seeds, and what’s left? Sure, some may have a bit of left-over color. But still not worth a second look. Admittedly this is a glass-half-empty point of view.

Now, if there’s snow on the plants, that’s a totally different story. Pure magic! I think even Elizabeth would admit that the blizzard that recently hit Buffalo had a certain panache. Quite a few of us living in the northern tier of states admit to a hankering for some snow cover, despite the problems it sometimes presents. Well, maybe just a bit of it – what we refer to as a “pretty snow.” (Probably a foreign concept to those of you in the warmer climes.) The last several years in our area have been notable for very few really heavy snows. We snowshoeing devotees generally like to have at least six inches of snow on the ground for good shoeing, but there has been precious little of that recently. It may be a symptom of global warming. Buffalo-style blizzards are way too much, but bare ground, gray skies and brown vegetation aren’t welcome either. Are several pretty snows too much to ask for?

I maintain that dead and dormant plants covered with snow are much prettier than dead and dormant plants in bare ground. Winter calls for at least a dusting of snow to add “winter interest.”  But Mother Nature gives us different sorts of beauty when and how she will.

Like any other gardener, I look forward to spring. The first blush of spring is an adventure waiting to happen – to discover what’s coming up. The change of seasons is nice; spring may be my favorite though. Many of us become shell-shocked with snow by the time winter winds down. And the effects linger. A few years ago, a friend offered me some perennial plants from her garden that sported white flowers. I politely declined the offer saying I already had enough white flowers. I was really saying that I had had enough white stuff.

That’s winter for you.