Category Archives: What To Do Over The Winter…

50 Shades of Green

In the real BDSM (bees, dirt, seeds, and manure) world of plants, there are some vegetative members who are by nature dominating and others, submissive.

These characteristics, as in the real world of animals, may be quite covert.

So, before you bring that plant home from your blind date at the garden store, a little research may be in order.

Plant tag and catalog descriptions may only prove more confusing: water plant, attracts hummingbirds, prefers sharply drained soil, heat tolerant, prefers shade, spreading habit, use slow-releasing fertilizer  – oh my!

In the end, there are plants who grow slowly and steadily, and if in the right location, will thrive. There are others that, given their druthers, will stomp out all others – dominating their territory. Beware – Campanula glamorata “Christian”, no matter how compelling.


Jan 6th – The Real January

There are some things to do about gardening in January, but for the life of me, I can’t yet recommend them.

Until the holiday decorations are put out of my no-longer-tolerant sight, I can’t allow myself to sink into the couch with the catalogs, notepad, planner in hand. While a good way to pass the cold months, this is still work.

So, what do I truly do in the weeks between wrapping on 12/24 to “un-decorating” after 1/6 besides the usual, obligatory holiday stuff?

I read trashy novels. They are mindless and require so little. The winter equivalent of the beach book, they are a vacation in January. And, if I can arrange the quiet time to have Josh or Enrique singing in Italian or Spanish in the background, a glass of wine on the side table, I can survive winter.

How do you make it through?

Jan 2 – The Seed Catalogs Cometh

A week away means that our mail was held, and I am having to wait for all those glorious, gorgeous seed catalogs that will have my mailman glad he drives a truck for delivery.

While I also wait for something worthy of my resolved photography intentions, I will review the catalogs that come my way, and let you all know what I have discovered through the years of my purchases from them. Not all sources are equal, and I will explain why I feel that way.

In The Garden (ITG)

Hanging on the knob of the door leading outside from my kitchen is a little wooden sign, rusticlly painted with carefree lilies and the words “I’m in the Garden” – must have picked it up at some herb festival  or other; can’t remember but it is clearly handmade and at $10 (or even $5), I provided a lot of profit to its maker. It is not my usual style, I could easily have made it for about .25, and my husband resisted its residency due to its, infrequent, prevention of shutting the door easily. 

I don’t know why, but I love it. It serves no purpose because I don’t move it to indicate when I am REALLY “in the garden”. But, it does have those purple lilies and cheers me up when I am not ITG.

I saw it tonight and realized that it is about time to put it away for the season – see, I take it down until I am ready to be ITG again – which really means I store it until after the Christmas decor is put away. I have a Santa to hang in its place (I have a real Santa collection (complex) so I need the knob…).

So, while I prepare for the holidays (another complex), the little sign will be in a box in the basement, next to the seedling bench.

But, I will still have ITG moments as I gather from the yard the makings of an Advent Wreath:  box, holly, cedar, pine, crepe myrtle berries, maybe even some hydrangea, rose hips, and crab apples – it is always interesting to see what is out there that will work.

Even before that, I will be able to find oak leaves for Thanksgiving and a few small pumpkins are holding up. It is just a matter of looking and imagining. That is the reward of the work – the beauty that can be retained in the “off-season” – when I am not ITG.

New Blog Appearance

My blog has migrated to WordPress so I will be learning a new layout – goal for the off-season: add photos for next season!