Color in the winter garden Feb. 4 at Mill Pond Garden

January 30, 2020

Mill Pond Garden will celebrate Mid-Winter Day with a demonstration of color in the winter garden by opening to visitors for a late-afternoon stroll from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The goal of a public garden is to demonstrate gardening possibilities by example. The public is invited to make a reservation to see what a splendid array of color is possible and plentiful in the winter garden. Winters in the Cape Region often have mild, beautiful days in which one can enjoy a garden planted for winter like Mill Pond Garden.

The garden will be featuring the colors of pansies; peacock kales; pink, white and red camellias; flowering hellebores; bark of many colors including coral bark maples; white hydrangeas; tan and pink crape myrtles; berries of orange, yellow, and red on hollies, Ruscus, and Nandina; colorful foliage of Euonymous; blue and yellow evergreens such as Florida anise and chamaecyparis; straw-colored large perennial grasses; and what may be the largest and most diverse collection of evergreen ground covers in the region including evergreen ferns, Pachysandra, lilyturf, Saxifraga, Vinca minor, Arum italicum, Rhodea, Heuchera, Heucherella, Ajuga, sedges, iris, and more.

“The garden is designed purposefully with 60 percent evergreens to afford a winter garden of great interest, aliveness, texture, color and constant change,” said founder Michael Zajic. “The wish is to change how people think of winter gardening and enjoyment. The dormant season is five months of the year when nature goes gray and usually dull. Gardeners can challenge that. Using more evergreens with all their various colors, plants with berries, interesting bark, and hardy flowering perennials and shrubs can transform the winter into its own version of paradise.“

Zajic said, “See what a winter garden can be. Flowers? Yes.  And yes, a visit to a garden in the ‘dead of winter’ is unusual. Be encouraged to a different view of winter gardening possibilities.” The evening light is best for photographs, and visitors may enjoy the low fly-over of snow geese and Canada geese zooming in to settle on Red Mill Pond for the night.

The forecast is for about 50 degrees F for that day with part sun, a great day to get outside. Visitors may enjoy seeing the many varieties of Hellebore that flower in winter before they go back to garden catalogs and nurseries to shop. A firepit will be ablaze with fragrant cherry wood logs to warm visitors. The garden, situated on the banks of Red Mill Pond, has abundant garden birds and water birds currently including great blue herons, mergansers, mallards, Canada geese, and kingfishers. Guests may dream over the Koi pond’s beautiful fish or become mesmerized by the stream and waterfalls. The important thing is to get out and enjoy nature.

Zajic’s tip for local winter gardeners right now is to fertilize bulb beds and daffodils in the last week of January with 10-10-10 fertilizer, about a handful per square yard of surface, to increase the number and vigor of spring bulb flowers.

To visit Feb. 4, subscribers should email to request a reservation. Parking is limited in this residential neighborhood. To subscribe for future invitations to garden events and open days, just submit the short form for name and email address on the website,  

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter