Sunday, January 18, 2015

Images of a Nebraska Winter's Soul

I'm in love with winter. Head over heals. "Brown is a color, too" is something we should hear much more in the gardening world. Summer gardens don't do it for me anymore. Maybe in winter I enjoy the peace more, the cloistered silence that is perhaps the first reason we have to create a garden -- it's an escape from overt thought, the world out there, the din of the mind and the business of life. Winter gardens show me the base structure, the heart of the matter, the absence which is the fullest presence, the negative space that in all art gives more power and resonance to the objects being focused upon. There is little else more elegant than a wash of bluestem rolling in the north wind on open prairie, seed heads of aster and coneflower poking up through drifts of snow, the act of following the tracks of some creature until they vanish inexplicably into the distance. Winter is the garden's soul born out fully, heart on its sleeve, the purest intention of space and place that a gardener can ever know. Spring can wait.

Just west of Lincoln, Nebraska -- a sudden shaft of rain
Footsteps in the garden
The garden path becomes a directing river of snow
Sunlight hits trees at Conestoga Lake

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