It's not easy being green. And it's even tougher being evergreen! During this time of the year when we are left with little in the way of flower power and the garden's color palette consists mainly of browns and beiges, it falls on the shoulders of the evergreens to provide the needed color boost and, in many cases, define the winter structure for the entire garden. As I look out on our own garden today, most of the boundaries of the garden areas are delineated by the subtly different shades of green yew, boxwood or arborvitae. And, in the wider landscape the rich greens of the pines, firs and hemlocks really stand out now among the leafless oaks, maples and birches. I think most of us would agree, it would be hard to get along without green during what can feel like interminable periods of dormancy. Our need for it is re-affirmed and celebrated every winter when we adorn our homes with evergreen wreaths, trees, and garlands, thus continuing a custom of holiday decorating begun by the Greeks and Romans.
Yesterday, I photographed clippings of some of the "evergreen heroes" in our own garden; those stalwart plants that not only define it architecturally but also punctuate the landscape with that most soothing of nature's colors. Here are a few of the photos: