Shorter days, colder temps and crisper air all signal the start of sleepy time in the wildlife gardens. Just like out in nature the plants in my gardens seem to know when it’s time to go to sleep for the winter. Putting on new hues of golds, reds and browns they slowly get ready for bed, laying down like tired children or adults after standing tall all summer. Sometimes they fight to stay awake a bit longer but eventually succumb to the nap known as winter.
Sometimes my gardens are still wide awake when they are asked to go to sleep. Living in the high country means that frost and snow can come very early to my yard, tossing a blanket of frost or snow upon the still blooming flowers. When this happens, the flowers rebel a little, showing off their beauty through the sparkling snow or the clinging frost in a magical yet fleeting dance from Mother Nature. Blink and you might miss it, but if you’re lucky enough to be outside you’re treated to the prettiest pajama party you’ll ever see.
The pajama party in my wildlife gardens goes on all fall and winter. I leave the plants in my gardens standing like I see out in the wild, not cut down or cleared out like so many others might. Mother Nature doesn’t clean out her yard and neither should we. Plants decompose naturally and show us beauty as they sleep. By letting them get cozy in their beds we can watch over their slow drifting into dreamland while dreaming of our own new gardens next year.
For now my beautiful wildlife gardens are resting but I know it’s only temporary. Just like a child waking up from a nap the gardens will show signs of awakening in the spring, but until then I will revel in their beautiful quietness. What will you see in your gardens while they’re sleeping?
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