Wintertime Is Planning Time

By Amy Grant | February 15, 2023
Image by Iryna Imago
by Amy Grant
February 15, 2023

For a gardener, winter has its downsides, but also some perks. Winter is a time to take a break from all the gardening chores as well as a time to recharge and take a look at the blank canvas the yard becomes when bereft of green leaves, clinging vines, and colorful blooms.

A Blank Canvas

About the only time my yard looks anything like a blank canvas is during the winter. My passion (some might call it more like hoarding behavior) for plants has almost every square inch planted and plotted within an inch of its life.

You might think that there is no room for more, but you would be wrong. Sometimes — okay lots of times — I end up disliking the placement of a plant or even just plain disliking the plant. The latter is rare but even plant devotee that I am, I have been known to yank out a specimen and be happy about it.

This year I’ve decided that the buddleia I planted has to go. The good thing is that someone gave it to me so I didn’t actually pay for it. Since it was a gift (I actually was given two) I’ve lived with it for four years and hated it.

I’m not sure what variety my buddleia is, but it isn’t the low growing, clumping variety. This bad boy grows close to 6 feet (2 m.) in height with long spindly branches. It does have lovely deep blue flowers and the butterflies do like it, but I don’t.

Every year I’ve been trying to kill it by cutting it back down to the ground but it keeps coming back. This year I’m digging it out.

Other Changes

The buddleia isn’t the only change I am making in my garden. I am currently revamping the perennial garden; in my head. Soon I will put the redo to paper — with a pencil because I will no doubt change my mind twenty times.

In the case of the perennial garden, I plant according to height; shorter in the front and graduating to the tallest at the rear. Well, sometimes things get bigger or smaller than their plant ID suggests they will become.

For instance, I inherited some delphinium when I bought the house. They never amounted to much so I moved them. Now they get more sun, have good juiced up soil, and are on a drip system.

They love it!! What were once plants of about maybe a foot (31 cm.) in height are now topping out at 6 feet (2 m.)… right in the middle of the bed where they shade the geum, nepeta, and the apricot agastache.

So, that’s what I’m doing with my garden time off. Winter is the time to take advantage of the blank canvas of the garden and move, add, or subtract albeit mentally so you’re ready for spring. I’m ready!

This article was last updated on
Read more about Backyard Stories
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

Browse Dozens of Our FREE Gardening Guides Today

Whether your dream garden is a houseplant sanctuary, a bountiful vegetable garden, a pollinator paradise, a bright and bold flower bed, or a backyard oasis – Gardening Know How has the perfect gardening guide just for you.

Click the button below to access more than 3 dozen of our completely free and completely comprehensive guides to growing your dream garden.

Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!