Winter in the Garden: 10 Hauntingly Beautiful Pics

Usually when we post articles here about winter gardening, we're explaining how to keep things growing and how to select veggies or shrubs that will keep producing under more extreme temperatures.

Today, we thought we'd bring you a little respite from your garden work (we know, we know...there IS no downtime for the gardener who loves to garden! But bear with us here) and show you the beauty of a winter garden even when it's not technically producing or in some cases, active at all.

Every season has its wonders. And even in cold-weather locales, if you dig beneath the glittering blue-shadowed snow, you can and will find life underneath, just waiting to burst forth, but currently resting exactly as nature intended.

To celebrate the coming of winter, we're pleased to give to you these ten gorgeous images of sleeping gardens...and if you look closely, you'll see there may be more activity there than you'd guessed.

(NOTE: All images are repins from Pinterest. If you see your image here and would like it to be acknowledge as yours, let us know.)

1. Brambles on a Wooden Door

This doorway could have been taken straight from Narnia, or perhaps Middle Earth. The snow hasn't fallen yet in this amazing image, but brambles, seemingly dried and gone, nevertheless creep toward the entranceway as if in protection. A bit of moss survives the cold and clings to the structure, while behind, a gray sky hovers, awaiting spring. Gorgeous!

2. Snow Garden Party

This image speaks of a gathering of cheerful friends who know how to celebrate EVERY season. The bottles still stand near the decorated table while snow softly patters down. It's dusk; the revelers have taken the party indoors to continue, perhaps by the warmth of a crackling winter fire. Tiny lit lanterns still hang suspended over the table, benches and cozy seating pillows. 

3. Topiary in White

What intrigues us so much about this image isn't the foreground topiary and path (though that IS beautiful); it's the subtlety of the misty trees in the background. They provide the shadowy background that gives this pristine scene body and perfectly offset the sharper, clearer conical topiaries, decorative rock swirls and still-swaying decorative grasses in the foreground.

3. Up Through the Trees

Wow! This from-the-ground-up photo of snowy branches is breathtaking. This circle of trees may flank a pretty stand of crocuses waiting to peek their heads through the frosty white in a month or so, or they may be the foreground to a beautifully gardened front or back lawn. Their perfect circle placement makes for one amazing shot, in our opinion.

5. A Cemetery Garden That Holds Surprises

This garden is full of surprises. The snowy iron gates are open, welcoming the first footprints of a true appreciator of nature in the season of rest. An evergreen arbor within is flanked by double-rows of junipers. In the foreground, a few last leaves cling to the surrounding hedge. The trees behind the arbor and the cement structure give testament that life continues - in memories and all over nature. We find this to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful pics we've ever posted on Cate's Garden.

6. A Robin in the Ivy

The ivy in this winter image remains a deep, almost summery green, contrasting with the pristine white background. It climbs the wooden handle of a garden tool left out perhaps accidentally, or perhaps as part of the decor of the photographer's garden. A robin perches on top, cheerfully singing his song as he enjoys the quiet of the hushed winter season and the brilliant whiteness of a world changed all around him, at least until spring.

7. A Gazebo "Painted" By Nature

This gazebo gets a fairy-elven makeover, courtesy of nature! Its top holds a blanket of snow, while snow softly adorns the evergreen branches twirling along the twin handrails. A single row of footprints shows that a visitor has been here, bundled up and happy to be in the peaceful solitude and outstanding beauty of a sitting place draped all in white.

8. Frosty Rose Hips

These rose hips have survived the season and poke cheerily through a powdering of snow. They are a testament as to why red and green are the traditional colors of Western Hemisphere winter holidays. These roses-to-be sit against a wooden post and while it's recommended that hips be trimmed back for growth, there's no denying these make a beautiful image.

9. Frozen Bird Feeder Lamp

Really, could Tiffany have done any better? It's our opinion that sometimes, there's just NO outdoing Mother Nature. This hanging bird feeder is draped in icicles to make a beautiful turn-of-the-previous-century-style cloisonne "lamp." A visitor sits on the stand and enjoys suet and grains.

10. A Warm Winter Window

Outside, the path and steps are frosty, but here inside the window, a candle burns brightly. An old-fashioned jar of candle stubs stands nearby. In two pots outside the frosty window, crocuses cheerfully poke through to absorb the late-winter sunshine, the last of the day as dusk softly begins to fall. A breath of steam slants across the pain, the warmth within contrasting with winter's chill outdoors. We LOVE this contemporary take on ages-old imagery.

On a final thought, we thought we'd put one bonus image in. It's standard in some ways - a wrought iron fence - but the composition and the snow give it a Running Up contender status. So here you are, and enjoy this beautiful season:

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