More Winter White

The architecture of this house is such that guests pull up to and walk past the garage on their way to the front door. I suspect this is a uniquely American phenomena-somewhat arising from our our long stand love affair with the automobile. An architect friend from New York waxed eloquent on the subject one night-but he does not own a car, nor does he drive long distances to work and the grocery like metro Detroiters.  But this architect had the foresight and wit to design a bank of windows in the garage wall.  What is a garage wall visually reads as the home.  I placed a large Francesca del Re terra cotta pot at the corner, to further distract the eye from the garage doors around the corner.  This pot and these window boxes provide a lot of  visual welcome both summer and winter.  The front door is a considerable distance past the window boxes to the right; they make the walk much more interesting.

Last year I sunk the complete skeletal wood of a Lollipop crabapple into this Francsca pot.  That crabapple had a six foot diameter head-and was heavy.  Buck made a steel shoe I could sink into the pot; that shoe keeps this crabapple wood aloft and vertical.  That natural topiary form went back into this year’s winter pot. Dressed in glass drops and lights, it whisks any inclination to focus on the garage doors away.  The clear drops reflect the predominate color of the Michigan winter season-white gone blue grey.

Fresh cut eucalyptus which is dried, preserved, and whitewashed takes on the color of whatever weather rules the day.   On a grey winter day, it read blue-white.  On a sunny day, it reads green, thinly washed with white.  The large leaves make a big statement from a distance.  That blue-white color gets reinforcement from the blue green of the noble fir-and from the greyed down orange of the brick. The relationship of this soft orange to the whitewashed eucalyptus?  There is enough murmuring going on to create a hubbub.  The white bricks-a little punctuation aided and abetted by the snow.  I really like how this looks.

The centerpieces have elements that cannot be seen from afar-they are too subtle.  I do not mind this. I like a ways away look that is surprisingly different than the up close look.  I like everything about this.  The blue green noble fir dusted in snow.  The frosted euc. The wispy centerpieces you need to get much closer to.  The reflections of the landscape, blued by the winter,  in the glass. The windows dressed in their cooly taupe paint-I like everything that is going on here.

OK, we are up close now.  Tall faux frosted branches are kept company by honesty picks, fluttering all around.   Honesty, a common name for money plant, is not a plant you would want to put in your garden, unless you had miles and acres for it to run.  But clear faux honesty provides sparkle to these winter containers without introducing any color. They reflect the color of the moment.

The Francesca pots flanking the front door get the same treatment. Repeating an idea gives that idea weight and substance. What do I love the best about these winter pots?  They may have little to no color but for the light of the day.  But they have sufficient mass.

The winter is not my favorite season.  It is hard for me to give up the garden. For this reason, I ask a lot from the winter garden.  Enchant me as best you can, please.

This pot shines, in spite of the hand an early winter has dealt.  I may tell you I am a designer, but in fact, I am a poker player.  Some hands win, hands down.  Some hands dead last in a field of 15.  The nature factor-this keeps me coming back for more.

Winter white-it is beautiful, is it not?

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