Nearly 3 years ago, I planted Corylus avellana 'Contorta', commonly known as Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, precisely for winter days like those last week. The twisted and contorted branches of this cultivar of a European Filbert earns a prime placement in the winter landscape, yet someplace that allows it to serve as a mere backdrop in spring or summer.
Garden structure is most evident in winter and nothing is more beautiful than to see the bones of a well-designed garden covered in a blanket of white. Stone walls, garden sculpture, pathways and evergreens reveal their importance when flowers are still awaiting spring. Here's St. Fiachre, patron saint of gardeners (and taxi drivers) watching and waiting for spring.