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Winter can be dramatic, and the sight of snow-laden pinetrees against a clear blue sky is one to be cherished and remembered, for its rarity as well as its beauty. In the Mid-Atlantic climate of the Tawes Garden, the fact is that Winter is more apt to produce scenes of gray, leafless trees, sodden ground, and puddles that can freeze into treacherously icy sheets. It takes some patience to see past the drab surface and discover the quiet beauty that still abounds. Things are different in Winter: the dense, obscuring foliage of Summer is gone, opening up the woods and allowing the low-angled sun to strike through and reveal a different landscape. The beautiful architecture of trees becomes apparent; rocks turn into sculptures. Light and color can be astonishing: from the sharp chiaroscuro of the fountain to a cardinal silhouetted against the sky, while the buds of Winter-blooming Paperbush, quite unharmed by being encased in ice, are simply exquisite. In fact, if one looks closely, there’s barely time enough to take in the subtle beauties of Winter before the first arrivals of Spring are poking through the leaves.

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