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Written By Ellen Bell, Colorado Master Gardener, 2019

Part 1 – Winter
February 2, 2021   63°


On cross quarter day, the midpoint between a solstice and equinox, I took a winter walk through the Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy Demonstration Garden east of Pueblo. It was a beautifully warm, sunny day, a gift in February.

While some may see the garden as “dead”, “sad” or uninteresting at this time of year I see not only the possibilities of what is to come but also the beauty in the “bones” of last year’s foliage. The garden is left untrimmed through the winter to provide habitat for our insects and pollinators. The plants are not dead, they are dormant, conserving their energy for the time when the days begin to grow longer and warmer.

For me, as a botanical artist it is a unique opportunity to take my sketchbook out to the garden to record and learn about this stage of plant life.

Most of the garden appears to be many shades of brown but if you look closely you can find more colors all around. Red rose hips, purple Hawthorne berries and green manzanita to name just a few.

This is my sketch from my walk that day. Part 2 will be my spring walk in the garden on the next cross quarter day in May. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that spring will bring.

pencil drawing of winter seed pods incluidng texas red yucca chinese chives black hawthorne fals boneset black eyed susan scrub oak masmillian sunfloer penstemon