Art from the Gutters

In the winter garden, sometimes you have to find beauty from unusual sources. Our home is nearing 20 years old, and one of the things it sorely needs is a new roof and gutters. I’m not sure if any of our gutters slopes in the direction of the downspouts anymore, and as a result we end up with a lot of water collecting in and overflowing from the gutters.

On clear winter days like we’ve been experiencing this week, the sun’s rays and the heat that escapes our house through the roof cause some of the snow on the roof to melt. Since the gutters don’t drain like they should, we end up with a lot of icy water coming over the wrong end of the gutters and onto the landscape borders.

This is certainly a problem we need to remedy this spring, but for now I think I’ll enjoy the natural sculpture that the ice forms on the plants below. In these photos, the stems and leaves of a Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ planted near our garage are encapsulated in ice formed by the slow dripping of the gutter above.

We don’t normally mention art and gutters in the same breath, but on a frigid winter day (another negative reading from the thermometer this morning), I’ll take nature’s creativity any way it provides.

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