The Garden in Winter - Book Review - Edmonton Horticultural Society

In 2014, Edmonton developed the Winterscapes program to encourage residents to beautify their front yards in winter for the enjoyment of all. It’s a companion to summer’s Front Yards In Bloom. I wanted to find references that would help us better understand the special needs of winter gardens, so I borrowed The Garden in Winter by Suzy Bales from Edmonton Public Library.

This book is jammed full of photos of gardens enhanced by snow and frost. It shows how such landscapes can be interesting and appealing. Even when it’s bitterly cold, they can make you stop for a moment to admire them. Something will catch your eye—how snow and ice contour the landscape, birds hopping around, the effect of sun and shade.

Chapter titles include The Wonders of a Winter Garden, The Glory of Trees and the Beauty of Bark, Colorful Conifers and Broadleaf Evergreens.  This book really helps us find the beauty of the snowy landscape. Let’s face it: we live with snow for months every year! We might as well appreciate it.

While not focused on the prairie landscape, The Garden In Winter does provide plentiful ideas for creative garden design. As the subtitle suggests, plant for beauty and interest in the quiet season.

The Garden in Winter: Plant for Beauty and Interest in the Quiet Season, by Suzy Bales. Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007. Distributed by Rodale. Available at the Edmonton Public Library.

Reviewed by Neil Lang, former EHS Front Yards in Bloom Coordinator.