A Late Winter Snow and the Bones of the Garden

Bronze iguana covered in snow.

Winter is often the forgotten season when it comes to landscaping. I love a beautiful perennial border in the summer; the colors, the flowers, the interesting foliage and textures. But in winter, when all the perennials have gone dormant and  lost their summer glow, there is not much to look at and enjoy. Woody trees and shrubs along with cacti and succulent plants can provide what is known as the “bones of the garden.” We’re not talking literal bones, but are referring to plants with a year round presence in the garden.  These plants, along with hardscape elements, provide the structure around which a landscape can be planted to have year round interest, texture, form and substance.

Landscape covered by snow.

Landscape covered by snow.

It is after a winter snow that the “bones” take center stage, providing a new view, and new perspective, when we see leaves and branches covered in white, peeking out from under a chilly blanket left behind by a quick moving late winter storm. Here are some photos from my front yard showing how xeric cacti and succulents like Agave, Yucca and Opuntia mixed in with the structural grace of a weeping ‘Mary Potter’ flowering crabapple, catch the snow with sublime beauty.

Snow on a bush.
Yucca neomexicana.

Browse Cacti and Succulents

  • Red Edged Pig's Ear Cotyledon orbiculata (high elevation form)

    Starting at $9.99

    Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot

  • Sutherland Night Blooming Ice Plant Stomatium sp. Sutherland

    Starting at $9.99

    Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot

  • Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia

    Starting at $9.99

    Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot


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