Beverly's gardening tipsPlanted mostly with perennials, my gardens provide a changing palette all summer. The color and texture of foliage is as important as the blooms. When planting anything I do it with an eye towards beauty and with wildlife in mind. I am an avid birdwatcher and my gardens have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.
By: Beverly Patronas, Duluth Budgeteer News
Planted mostly with perennials, my gardens provide a changing palette all summer. The color and texture of foliage is as important as the blooms.
When planting anything I do it with an eye towards beauty and with wildlife in mind. I am an avid birdwatcher and my gardens have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.
When planting a new garden or adding to an established garden you should think of winter interest. You can do this in many ways.
Curved paths and raised areas lend a sense of movement. With our long winters we do not see much movement in our gardens, unless it is a rabbit scurrying or a squirrel recovering his hidden stash of food. I especially enjoy the colorful birds such as cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers and the delightful black-capped chickadees.
Trees that have interesting silhouettes such as a thread-leaf arborvitae, weeping larches, ornamental trees that have been pruned into topiary shapes, and interesting evergreens for winter color also offer roosting spaces for the birds. Trees and shrubs with seeds and berries are an important part of my winter gardens.
Arbors, arches, and obelisks with vines that stay up all winter, give us a vertical reminder of the beauty that awaits us in the spring.
You can create winter beauty and drama with ornamental grasses, which are not trimmed down until spring, leaving perennials with seed heads such as rudbeckia, liatris and coneflower, and anything with berries to feed the birds and the wildlife.
When it is time for my fall pruning and garden cleanup, I keep in mind aesthetics and concern for wildlife. I leave standing any plant I feel contributes aesthetically or adds architecture to my winter gardens. Birds feed on seeds and berries, and many animals use plants and evergreens as cover. A heated birdbath brings the beauty of nature up-close and is much appreciated by all wildlife that finds it.
My gardening philosophy is to get outside, and touch the warm soil with your hands. It is comforting and magical to the soul and spirit.
Beverly Patronas lives in Duluth and loves to garden. She is a professional business consultant, published writer and motivational speaker and owns bp•solutions. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.