Winter used to leave a huge hole in my garden. Containers that were once jammed with vibrant annuals were reduced to pots of old potting soil. Flower beds that had hosted brilliant orange marigolds and salmon-pink petunias had become boring expanses of brown dirt. At least I covered the soil with a layer of mulch—shredded leaves, dried grass clippings, pine needles—but it all looked so depressing.
Not any more. A spontaneous trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens last March gave me the inspiration I needed to make my winter landscape far more interesting.