What's Coming Next 195: What's next, Winter damage, Birds, Snowplay

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Its species and how the plant's been tended can affect how it holds snow or ice and whether it's more or less likely to break. These burning bushes (Euonymus alatus compactus) are pruned hard every four or five years and allowed to grow back without shearing. Thus the branching is naturally open, and snow sifts all the way into the shrub's center rather than becoming caught at the tips. Winter weight breaks are unlikely. Below, left, the same species and variety but repeatedly sheared without thinning. It's become densely twiggy at the top, stopping the snow there. In a very heavy storm its limbs are more likely to break. 

Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow

Issue #195, January 8, 2013

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Zero to One: 2012 report with heads-up to 2013 changes

When ice and snow deal crushing blows

How snow play can improve the landscape

What to do when small things spook the birds

Read on for a summary of these 4 new articles illustrated with 57 new images .



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We used to think of winter as the off season. We've begun to forget why.

This week we finished our annual review, tromped around in the snow for the good of the landscape, entertained the neighborhood, chased around after birds with sticks (!) and wrote it all down for you here with lots of ways you can add to the stories.

'Nuff said! Thanks much for helping us to grow this website and this gardening community!


We've been planning changes and adding to What's Next

We've summarized the year and what we plan next:
We're pleased. Thanks for your good and helpful responses all year.
We've grown, the community's grown. We love it!
We got less done than we hoped. Unexpected time and costs, but each one a useful lesson.
Need a trial audience for our Webinar premier: Evening of March 1. Want in? Tell us!
New way to decide what articles to post: Check out the Blue Susans this week and upcoming.
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More at What's Next.

In Main features:

When ice and snow deal crushing blows

Practical advice for what to do when trees and shrubs bow under winter's weight. With a list of many related articles that may come in handy for you this winter, some of which are immediately available, some of which we hope you can help us bring to the site very soon. Illustrated with a line up of winter at its whitest and most sparkly.


Just now seen in the 45 mph garden

It's catching driver's eyes and raising questions this week.

How snow play can improve the landscape


Perhaps this is more of a 25 mph affair, good for slowing the traffic in a neighborhood.
Have you ever considered using Nature's great white canvas to doodle trial changes to your landscape? It's very do-able! Grab that snow shovel, a spray bottle and some food coloring, then let's be kids again.


New in the Stumper department

Laughing together to salve problems that have no solution.

What to do when small things spook the birds


And what can we do to coax them back?

We probably all know instinctively that removing a tree can drastically reduce a yard's songbird population. Yet smaller changes can make big ripples, too. Here's a look at what we've done to mend the tear in an ecosystem, with a list of lots of other articles of interest to those who garden for maximum bird life, a slew of great wildlife photos and a call for you to share your experience and suggestions where they can help others who may be facing this tough situation.