Nature’s garden surrounds my little cabin. Tiny spring beauties, wild violets, dogtooth violets and wood sorrel line my driveway in spring. These little gems are really small, so even those with intense shades of color can be easily overlooked. And sometimes, I just want something large and splashy.
Over the years I’ve found that large and splashy blooms combined with little sunlight isn’t an easy combination to come by. And, even if it was, I don’t want planted non-native flowers to overpower the little native jewels. So, I have designated an area near a beech tree that gets a decent amount sunlight in the front of my cabin as my garden. I like geraniums, usually the deepest reds, but I also always buy at least one native plant that I don't normally see in my forest and then plant it somewhere on the property. Sometimes they take hold, sometimes they don't. My "garden" is really just various natural-looking containers gathered in this one spot. When I drive in to the cabin from being away, the colors greet me as I enter my little domain, and satisfy my desire for big and splashy blooms.
Now that winter is here (and with a vengeance this morning), the little garden area looks forlorn. But yesterday for a few moments, the sun hit the wooden chair that holds my spring plants, and it looked pretty again, albeit in a kind of anticipatory way. The beech leaves haven’t yet fallen; they are about the only leaves that haven’t yet. The leaves looked as though they were still sheltering my little garden even in winter.