"Early bloomer Hellebores"                                                               In Hot Pursuit - February 2015 
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Hellebores 'Pink Frost'

Sturdy and deer-resistant Hellebores are winter winners! They bloom early (ours are coming in now), are mostly evergreen, and come in an array of colors. Read the finer details on each variety to be sure you get the qualities you want for your garden.



Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise'


As if to give us hope for better days to come, Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise' (Witch Hazel) reveals its sunny blooms when the weather still feels like winter. A tree-like shrub with bright, yellow flowers that are more durable than they appear, this plant prefers rich, moist soil and partial shade.  

Juniperus virginiana 'Hillspire'

A native evergreen with a narrow, compact form, the Eastern Red Cedar is perfect for softening a corner of the house or creating a privacy screen. It reaches an average of 20' in height at maturity, but grows only half that in width. It likes full sun and will tolerate a variety of soils. Both 'Hillspire' and 'Idyllwild' are reliable varieties.





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  • Fire pits
  • Arbors, trellises, shade structures

Jan Kirsh Landscapes & Studio


Unpleasant with a chance of insufferable. Winter can seem relentless to those of us who spend these months in areas prone to cold, cloudy weather. In my garden designs, I employ numerous strategies to mitigate the starkness of the landscape. 

Mid-Winter Inspiration

I choose plants with "good bones," specimens that offer shape appeal, with or without foliage. Evergreens are a reliable source of mid-winter inspiration and the warm-hued stems of red twig dogwoods bring a welcome shot of color to the winter garden. 

Cornus sericea - Red Twig Dogwood

Fire it Up!


But nothing says "move over winter" better than a toasty, outdoor fire! A fire pit can serve as a gathering place, a quiet haven, or both, depending on your needs. Styles are as individual as the people who circle around them and can be designed to suit an expansive waterfront or an intimate patio

Unless you plan to build a bonfire, a 3-foot diameter pit is a good target size. You may also opt for a fireplace-style bowl, table or chiminea. Seating can be informal or elegant, depending on your tastes and the architecture of your home.


Whether you choose something permanent or portable, you can be sure that adding a fire-burning feature will improve the ambiance of your space. 


Warm Ups 


A bright piece of sculpture is another surefire way to ramp up your garden's appeal in every season. A zesty pepper, like the one recently installed on this cozy,Tucson patio, positively exudes warmth.  Chile Pepper 2 gives this beautifully redone space a focal point without overwhelming the other features. Thanks to interior and landscape designer, Kathryn Prideaux, for inspiring the collaboration on this project! 

Play it Cool

On the subject of hot topics, here are some  design trends for 2015 that may spark your imagination.  I had the pleasure of meeting Billy Goodnick at a recent a GWA conference and very much appreciate his and others' thoughts on conservation as a design element. Here in the east, it's a little too easy to forget that water is one of our most precious natural resources.  


When summer returns, as it surely will (count me among the grateful), you might consider adding a water-efficient fountain to help you feel cool. The sound of running water alleviates stress and creates that sense of oasis for which we long in the heat of summer. A trickling fountain may be just the touch you need to make your garden feel inviting again this summer.

A low, burbling water-feature adds a cool touch on a hot day.

Photo credit: Ericaglasener.com

Wishing you warm conversations and cool encounters.

Best regards, 


Jan Kirsh Landscapes and Studio | 410.745.5252 | jkirsh@jankirsh.com | http://www.jankirshstudio.com
PO Box 246
Bozman, MD 21612