By Catherine Marsh
Anderson Japanese Gardens

Although our Gardeners would love to be dormant pruning in February, in Northern Illinois there is usually too much snow and cold temperatures make branches brittle, rendering fine twigs easily damaged by contact. As well, frozen foliage on Pachysandra terminalis, an evergreen groundcover used throughout the Garden, is easily damaged by foot traffic, and can lead to pachysandra blight in the spring. Anderson Japanese Gardens is closed to the public in the winter, but snow removal is ongoing for employee safety, allowing us to move easily between buildings and throughout the Garden to inspect for winter damage or to obtain photos for social media. Snow load is constantly monitored on conifers, such as arborvitae, yew and some pines. Sometimes snow and ice must be removed from the eaves of our smaller buildings and the Guest House to prevent ice dams from forming. 

When we are not clearing snow and ice, we work on building and equipment maintenance. During the winter months, our staff has time to complete necessary repairs in our Visitors Center, including painting walls or deep cleaning floors. When those are complete, it is time to prepare for our spring opening. The Horticulture Shop is organized, tools are sharpened and repaired, lawn mowers are tuned up and IPM supplies are calculated and ordered. As soon as the snow melts, we are ready for action! 

*Pond strolling garden at Anderson Japanese Garden