A Snowy Interlude

February snow (16)As near as I can tell, we had 16 inches of snow fall yesterday.  Actually, it didn’t really fall-the wind blew it every which way. It started out slow, but it was steady.  At 5 pm yesterday, I had decided the weather forecast people had been outwitted by Mother Nature once again. We had some snow-but we always have snow. A winter in Michigan without snow is rare. The piddling daytime accumulation surely was not the volume of snow we had had by this time last year. I was yawning.  By 6pm the speed of descent had really picked up, along with the wind. Hmm. By 10 pm, I knew the snowfall would be considerable.

February snow (17)This was our first snow storm of the winter.  As much as I detest being shut out of my garden, the winter landscape can be quite beautiful.  If a landscape has been designed with a winter season in mind, there should be plenty to look at. I suppose I should be censured for still having my garland and wreath up in February, but it has a wintry look to me. I like having it to look at.  I feel the same way about my winter lighting. How the lights melt the snow-bravo, those lights.

February snow (15)The evergreens in my landscape are beautiful, given either a dusting, or a drubbing of weather. We had lots of wind; would that I were able to photograph it. It was fierce. The big Norway maple in the back left of this photograph was swaying, and creaking. The sound was as spectacular as the motion.

February snow (5)In the morning, the landscape was all about the depth of the snow, and the height of the drifts. Beautiful. Some storms can be utterly destructive and horrifying. This snow, everywhere, whipped into the most astonishing shapes, was breathtaking.

February snow (20)It took an hour for one of my landscape crew people to shovel the drive. They look after me in the winter.  I will admit that I backed the suburban blind down the driveway to the street to clean it off. There really isn’t any other place to put snow here.  The Suburban snow went in the street.

February snow (11)Once I cleaned off the bus, I backed it back up the driveway.  I would need to gun it out of the drive into the street.  Only the momentum established by this heavy vehicle would propel me 1/2 block to the next street over-which had been plowed. My city only plows the main arteries in a neighborhood. I would be on my own, getting to that plowed street.

February snow (6)Before I left for work, I had to take more pictures. We had a landscape/weather event, and I am a fan of such. I am trying not to think about another snow storm, as the snow piles are 6 feet tall from this one storm. But all the snow was beautiful.  I shoveled the upper deck myself.  The snow was dry and powdery-I just pushed it off the deck into the yard.

February snow (2)My winter pots had a look this morning not of my own creation.  Given a rock solid construction, they were unfazed by all of the snow.  Just so much better looking. So striking, the forms generated by the snow.

February snow (8)These plastic picks with rhinestone dots were unbowed, and still glittering this morning.

February snow (1)The fountain yard was sculptural beyond anything I had been able to achieve with this space.  It was corgi-proof.  Even Milo would not venture off the bottom stair. I love the peace and quiet of it.  How the landscape is muffled.

February snow (3)This thick blanket of snow illustrates how the garden is sleeping in the very strongest of graphic terms.

February snow (4)garden bench in winter

February snow (13)fencing, stone wall, and yews-interpreted by the snow.

February snow (7)The snow has transformed my winter landscape-all for the better.


  1. debra phillips says

    isn’t it stunning?! loved the tour of your garden blanked in glistening snow. and i love good snow, we had 16″ too, beautiful.
    my cardi manages to barrel through in sheer delight!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Debra, would that our corgis could meet! My Howard, who most resembles your corgi-thinks all this snow is dreadful. We and our dogs all have very distinct personalities. Thanks for your letter. all the best, Deborah

      • Talk about a winter wonderland. The garlands are perfect and make an outstanding frame that will last throughout the winter. A beautiful frame for Mother Nature’s work. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. We feel your pain in Boston. 30 inches last week, now we’re in the midst of being hammered by yet another 12 inches. No signs of relenting yet.
    I agree with you about Michigan snow. My memories of Michigan are full of prodigious snow!
    Your pictures are beautiful. The last photo in particular, takes my breath away with the sun back lighting the tree and remaining leaves.
    Please stay warm and safe. Dream of the garden slumbering below the snow.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Kathleen, I cannot imagine what you you have to cope with right now. Mine is a walk in the park, by comparison. My best to you, Deborah

  3. Paula venti says

    I too am from Boston and have been hit one right after another this past week. My sadness lies in knowing the hellebores were blooming just last week. Under all this snow I can’t enjoy them. I so enjoy your blog and wonder how you do it with everything you do. Go Pats !!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Paula, last winter all of my hellebores were buried under the snow-until late in April. Needless to say, it was not a great year for hellebores. I am hoping for better this coming spring. The Boston winter so far-ouch! Deborah

  4. Deborah,

    Wasn’t this snowstorm grand? The exceptionally wet snow we had in Northern Indiana really stuck to everything beautifully.

    As much as we in the Midwest complain about snow, there’s something fun about the big storms. We all seem to revert to “survival mode” — something like what our ancient ancestors endured continually. Maybe it’s our inherent “genetic drive to survive.”

    With no other choice, I, like you, have learned to appreciate the beauty and fun of each season. This ever-changing scene keeps life interesting.

  5. Love your photos and snow essay. So pretty and pristine. Am enjoying our snowy landscape too and especially like reading your narritive.

  6. Your yard and garden is breathtakingly beautiful and makes me ache for a winter landscape. My friends here in South Carolina all think I am nuts, but I can hardly wait to share your photos to let them see what I am talking about. The only thing missing from your yard that I had is a bunch of bird feeders with hungry birds hovering and chirping with delight as the snow was pushed away so they could eat

  7. Funny post Deborah, love how initially you were not too inspired by the few flakes that came down..and then it hit,lol the photos are great too! And your fence! What a fence! I have never seen one like it. The snow just accentuates how beautiful it is. Looks like it took many, many hours of work to put that together. Absolutely stunning.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Angela,we used to import that twig fencing from Belgium, but the USDA will no longer permit that. It’s too bad, as it makes a gorgeous fence. best, Deborah

  8. You must never be censured for leaving up a garland and wreath in February! We need these things and the snow frosting is stunning. The sunrise in West Michigan with all the sparkling snow was an inspiring sight. THANKYOU for the beautiful photographs…..under a blanket of powdery white, our gardens sleep this winter night. And now, a full moon for a glow-in-the dark atmosphere, winter delight!

  9. Barbara Mewborn says

    Thank you for your breathtaking landscape pictures. Such beauty is found in snow! I will revisit them a number of times and enjoy the peace you captured!!!! Barbara/ Toledo, Ohio

  10. The pictures of your snow-covered garden are so beautiful. I especially love the second picture of your front entrance and am enchanted with the urns on pedestals inside your home! Love how the windows accent them perfectly!

  11. Susan Hauser says

    Deborah, you have inspired me to incorporate more evergreens into our landscape. Unfortunately, the deer here in Massachusetts devour the yews and arborvitaes (which I absolutely love) so I’ve been using pines, firs, and rhododendrons. I eagerly await each new photo-heavy post, so please keep them coming.

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