I was walking around my yard yesterday after raking and realized that after this chore was done the yard really looked good and I will be able to enjoy this all fall and winter as long as we don’t have another 96 inches of snow.  Why?  Because a well designed landscape will allow you to keep all of your perennials and shrubs in place (not cutting back) to enjoy now and beyond.  The silhouette of a ornamental grass, the glossy black berries of Aronia or the simple red twigs of our favorite winter shrub the dogwood make a normal drab yard into one that carries us through the monotony of winter.  These unique plants lend us a sense of relaxation as one moves from the super-charged growth during the summer season ramping down into a time when grass can still be green, oaks are shedding the last of the fall color, and most importantly a time when the weeds have stopped germinating.  Summer color can be a great thing, but keep in mind that we practically live in the tundra and why not enjoy the vista’s from our home year round rather than shutting the blinds and watching reality TV during negative degree weather.  Invest in some new plants and your winter landscape will emerge with the wind, white, and whistles of the Chickadee.