As you shift snow to clear walks and driveways, take care to place it where it won’t crush woody plants, like roses and shrubs. If you live in a snow-prone region, you might want to fill areas where you or the local snowplow toss snow with perennials and shrubs you cut back in spring, like butterfly bush, Russian sage and beautyberry.
Snow peas offer variety in flower and pod color. Purple snow peas bring a stronger flavor (it has a bitter nuance) and cheery color to the salad bowl. For strongest color, pick the youngest pods and use them raw or lightly sautéed. Longer cooking fades the hue to muddy tones. Purple snow peas make beautiful coleslaw, pasta salad or sandwich toppers. This variety is ‘Royal’ and is popular among chefs for its color and flavor.
Make It: Start by picking up a clear glass or plastic ball ornament. Add a two-inch layer of artificial snow along the bottom, and then suspend miniature holiday figurines from the ornament's foil or metal cap using fishing line. Once hung, this simple, clear ornament takes on the appearance of a sophisticated snow globe.
Kale stands up to early frosts, and actually tastes differently (and better) after frost nips leaves. These edible plants also survive light snowfalls, bouncing back to offer tasty leaves after snow melts. In wintry regions, choose kale varieties that stand up to snow, such as ‘Red Russian’ or ‘Winterbor.’
Be creative as you design a trellis for your pea plants. Traditionally gardeners use fruit tree and shrub trimmings to craft a twig trellis. You can do the same thing with twigs that winter has tossed onto your lawn. Simply stick pencil-thick twigs into soil beside peas as you plant them. Another option is to string netting between stakes. This easy trellis (above) supports pea plants with a double row of twine that runs alongside plants. Insert stakes at either end of your pea plant (or every 4 to 5 feet for long rows), and wrap the twine around stakes to create a tight support. The plants will grab one another and the twine for support.
What better way to celebrate the season than with a little snow—indoors? Faux snow is inexpensive, and reusable, and perfect for transforming any surface into a mini winter wonderland. Here, the design team added a forest of flocked trees and a vase overflowing with baby’s breath to complete the snowy scene.
Make It: First, gather buttons in various shapes, sizes and colors. Then, starting at the center of a three-inch foam sphere, attach the buttons by inserting a tailor's pin through one hole of each button until secured. Continue this process around the entire sphere, covering it one row at a time. Once the entire surface is covered, add a second layer of buttons to any sections where foam is still visible. Finally, tie ribbon into a loop, attach to the top of the sphere with a tailor's pin and hang on the tree.
When early season snow starts to fly, some plants in fall container gardens won’t survive. Ornamental or flowering kale and viola sail through even a dusting of snow. As snow melts, wilted violas bounce right back, while the ornamental kale just keeps looking good. In pots, garden mums and nandina don’t recover from snowfall like this.
Sweet alyssum comes of age with Snow Princess. Like the old-fashioned annual, Snow Princess opens tiny, dainty white blooms with a sweet fragrance. That beauty is updated with an ability to withstand heat and sun. Use Snow Princess as a spiller in containers, or count on it as a butterfly-attracting ground cover in beds. Plants grow 4 to 8 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide.
In snowy winter climates, aim to clean up the garden before early snowfalls arrive. Doing this helps to reduce winter resting places for pests and diseases that go into hiding once snow flies. It’s also easier on you—no frozen fingers.
Situated on a mountaintop outside Charlottesville, Virginia, Monticello, a 5,000-acre plantation, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia.
Snow peas form flat pods with a small seed inside that’s visible through the pod (you can see a small bump). With snow peas, you eat the entire pod, raw or cooked. On some snow pea varieties, the pods have a tough string along the edge that you need to remove before eating. If you want pods that you don’t have to de-string, look for the word “stringless” in the plant description. With snow peas, the trick to the most tender bite is to pick pods when they’re flat and young. This variety is ‘Oregon Sugar Pod II,’ which boasts a long harvest season from disease-resistant plants.