I was photographing a few vases in the Little House (which is not heated; it was lovely and frigid in a way that I perversely enjoy), and I needed some flowers to demonstrate scale and use. These pathetic posies were the best thing my frozen garden could produce:
Blackened sticks, almost. Reviled vinca, which I tried in vain to eradicate in the fall, looks better than anything else that I was willing to cut (the rhododendrons & mountain laurel look lovely, of course, and the rhododendrons are even starting to bud). I really haven't yet reached the level of sophistication as a gardener where I can pontificate on how lovely my grounds are even when everything is dead or in dormancy, waxing poetic on husks and dessicated stems, Piet Oudolf style (which I love from afar).
I miss growing, thriving things with leaves and berries. I don't miss flowers all that much, though I am looking forward to the fruit trees this year, which should give us a pretty good show for the first time this spring.
Still, I'll must admit that I lust for something more like these memories of Lake Como in late summer; taken at Villa Melzi and Villa Carlotta. I love a good old fashioned specimen garden: