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The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.

~Terri Guillemets~

Spring is Calling

It is in the depths of winter my imagination takes flight. Even while heavy white snow covers the ground, I see with perfect clarity the garden I will grow in the spring. When ice hangs from the roof, I imagine green shoots popping out of the ground. Wrapped in a blanket, sipping hot tea, I sketch plans for a new vegetable garden.

In the spring and summer when gardeners are outside, digging and weeding, planting and harvesting, there isn’t much time for flight of fancy. The to-do lists beckon and we must get things watered and tended.

In the winter, though, there is time for reflection. Reflection is necessary for any activity.  Of course to be a gardener you have to get out and put your hands in some dirt and do, but it helps to sit still and to think, also.

There is the practical sort of reflection: where you want to plant what and which will look better when, but there is also pure fantasy, where you let your mind wander where it will.  Sometimes, those relaxed, unstructured mental excursions can have surprising results. Epiphanies happen when you least expect them!

Although it’s just about impossible to stop feeling impatient for springtime, it is good to think that wintertime daydreams might lead to a more productive gardening season.  Here are a few suggestions to help those thoughts and daydreams result in practical benefits in your garden:

  • Shop/dream with seed/nursery catalogs/online - and make notes as you browse, so that when it comes time to place orders you remember what you were thinking and where you saw it!
  • Grow herbs inside - a few pots on the window sill gives you something to grow and tend, and also makes meals more pleasurable.
  • Mark spots that would look better with a winter interest plant next year - during the cold months, you see the bare bones of your garden as at no other time. Take advantage of the view by marking things for next year.
  • Read garden magazines and books - you will feel inspired and provide fodder for your imagination
  • Learn something new about gardening - if there is a plant you’ve wanted to try growing, winter is the time to do research. If you have been considering learning a new technique, this is the perfect time to learn as much as you can.


January in the Garden:

Old-Fashioned Cleome
Brugmansia - Angel Trumpet
Brugmansia Painted Lady