What’s in your view? I know, snow and more snow. But seriously, have you looked outside those windows? If you haven’t, go take a look. Pick a window, maybe a window you do not ordinarily look from. What do you see? Stand there for a moment and take a serious look. You may see a charming home on your street you have always admired, a beautiful tree you enjoy when it blooms in the spring, or a pretty hillside that changes with the seasons. If you live in a rural area, you may see cattle in the field, a grand old barn or a special wooded area where you enjoy walking.
Next, look at your own surroundings. Is there a nice tree, a collection of spring and summer blooming plants, or pretty shrubbery framing your home? Think of your home and surroundings as your neighbor’s view. And, do they have a pretty view? From any window of our home, we should see something of beauty. And, we should strive to create beauty not only for ourselves, but also for others.
If we want to enhance our homes and in turn improve the appearance of our communities, it is important for us to look out our windows. Should you determine your area needs improving, spend time visualizing exactly how your improvements will look upon completion. This is the time of year to take stock of our surroundings.
First take your front. This area speaks clearly to all those who pass by. Do you have shrubbery which is overgrown, and do you like the plantings which are currently in place? Shrubbery should not be covering your windows. Most shrubbery which is overgrown can be pruned each year by one third until it reaches the desired height. Do note, flowering shrubbery should be pruned just as soon as possible after blooming.
Additionally, regarding the front: Are you interested in a great container or urn planted with divine flowers? There are many budget-friendly containers on the market which are stunning when filled with pretty plants. When considering containers, be honest with yourself regarding the time you are willing to devote to proper maintenance. Because, nothing looks more dreadful than a container of flowers screaming for water. Also, consider the amount of light or direct sun which your area receives. This will determine the type of plants which are appropriate for your container.
Do you have thoughts of creating a beautiful garden? A key factor to consider when planning your garden is how it will look from the windows of your home you look out of most of the time. An upstairs window gives you great perspective. Next, once again, consider the sun. Does your possible area receive full sun, morning sun, afternoon sun or total shade? Once this is determined, then you will plant accordingly. This can be a bit overwhelming for a novice gardener. However, if you’re interested in creating a garden, you will need to educate yourself. There are many wonderful gardening books available for purchase or you can also check the local libraries. I will talk more about specific plants and planting zones in future columns.
As we come closer to the arrival of spring, I will provide names of many of my favorite plants and sources where you may purchase them. However, as it is still January, here are the lovely words of Josephine Nuese. “Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.”
Until we meet again, Go Create Beauty!