Winter Iris only looks fragile. You should grow this tough winter flower where you can see it from the house.

Every morning I open the curtains and look out for something new.  I love to be surprised–like Saturday when  the snow transformed our woods so completely.    But snow is a rare gift in the south–beautiful and quickly gone.  What about the rest of the time, when the woods are grey and most of the garden is sleeping?

Make a view.  Sounds so simple now, but in the beginning I was looking at the wrong way. 

When I started gardening, I was like a little real estate agent–thinking about curb appeal, looking at my garden from the street. Now I think more about Chris appeal–what will delight me when I open the curtains and look out.   

Views are especially important this time of year when  the days are short–and I can’t  go out in the evening and wander the yard with a glass of wine. 

Because change in the garden is good.  Something to be noted and savored. 

And I am finally savoring the Winter Iris this year.    I bought Iris unguicularis almost a decade ago, but never enjoyed it  because I  put it in such a bad place.    Maybe it did bloom its head off in the lower yard, but I wasn’t there to see it .  I couldn’t have picked a better blind spot if I’d tried.  I was looking in, seeing it as part of a garden…not out as part of a veiw. 

I finally wised up and moved it.  This year the purple flowers have surprised me again and again, blooming almost non-stop since Christmas right outside my kitchen window.  It is a delight.  Not a view on it’s own–but part of one that I hope to keep improving with Helleborus, Autumn Ferns, Camellias, and other winter delights. 

And that’s what’s outside my kitchen window.   What about yours?  Are you looking out or in?

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