“A Christmas Terrace”

In planning and planting the Summerfields terraces, our main goal besides functionality was “not looking like junk for half of the year like WestCo does”. Therefore, we made a terrace to do just that: highlight the dead of winter. That terrace is the middle terrace, or The Christmas Terrace.

Crocus: Snow Crocus
– These fun little bulbs will pop up (even through snow!) in the end-ish of winter or the very beginning of spring.
– They’ll be the white element of The Christmas Terrace. We’ll have a few at first, but they spread on their own, and will eventually cover more of the terrace.

white winter crocuses

Dwarf Conifers: Dwarf Japanese Cypress and Dwarf Montgomery Spruce
– These will hold their deep, plentiful amounts of greens and greenish blues in the winter.
– Also, they smell pretty good. Christmas smell.

Dwarf Japanese Cypres

Dwarf Japanese Cypress: smells like Christmas, looks like Christmas.

Winterberries (Ilex verticillata): Winter Red, Red Sprite, and Jim Dandy
– These will provide the “red” element of Christmas. As you can probably guess from the name, they’ll have red berries. In winter. But if you see one on the terrace that doesn’t have berries, it’s because it won’t. The males don’t berry, but they are necessary to pollinate. So there’s one we stuck on the end.
– FYI: Don’t eat the enticing red berries. They contain Theobromine, which causes symptoms that are apparently similar to OD’ing on caffeine. Won’t be the worst time, but won’t be the best time.

Winter Red Winterberry

In the event that we’re ‘graced’ with the tundra for weeks on end like we were last winter, at least there’ll be these guys gracing us with some color.


It might be hard to imagine all of these elements together on the terrace in the middle of winter, where what has so long been a slope of dirt. Even so, I hope you’re somewhat as excited as we are; some life in the Butts in the dead of winter will hopefully bring you some winter cheer (Christmas cheer?), whether leaving the dorms or visiting Summerfields.

Till the next update,



2 thoughts on ““A Christmas Terrace”

  1. I do hope you consider making signs to indicate non-edible berries?
    I remember early WILD wes meetings discussing whether we wanted to ever have non-edible berries and there were strong feelings over safety concerns in both camps; I don’t recall the final verdict or know whether minds have changed since then?

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