The Cranford Rose Garden
Hydrangea paniculata
Patrick Dougherty's "Natural History"
The frozen pond with hanging cherry branches

The temperature has remained below freezing for the last three days. In the Brooklyn Botanic Garden today, dead hydrangea blooms looked spectacular, dusted with snow. Not long ago, as gardening fashion goes, these spent flowers would have been cut back, as nobody thought them worthy once they had lost their colors. With the work of such designers as Piet Oudolf, we have learned to appreciate the whole life cycle of plants. Each season has its beauty. I love the garden's winter landscape with its monochromatic hue. It's a quiet moment after the clamor of so many summer and autumn blooms. Shorn of their leaves, the trees become more sculptural. Their bare branches make lacy patterns against the sky. Their barks demand a second look, sometimes a touch. I read something beautiful today in a rather melancholy piece about the terrible things we have done to the landscape:

"Real land is never sad in its vastness, lost in its solitude. Left alone, cycles dress and undress it, chill-and-warm so it peaks, hardens, slides, swells. Real land hosts–voles, foxes, cicadas. Fires, moss, thunder. Rolls or gets steep. Sinks, sops, and sprouts."

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