Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter "Gardening"

I live in Ohio, so there really isn't any winter gardening to do. That's why I put quotes around the word gardening. But there are ways to cope so that we garden lovers don't lose heart during the long, cold winter. I suppose I might get outside to clean up debris if the weather breaks briefly. However, it doesn't happen very often, so it's best not to count on this strategy. It's best that I have a back up plan that allows me to enjoy hints of gardening till I can actually do so. I usually start with a trip to the floral department of my favorite store. As long as there are fresh flowers around the house, I don't have to miss the ones from my garden so much. Houseplants can also be a good substitute. Even fake flowers like these pom poms can do the trick! If they make me smile, that's all that required.

However, sometimes it just has to snow here in winter. My inclination is usually to hunker down inside and avoid the cold at all costs. But I'm trying to convince myself to enjoy the beauty of the snow instead. It isn't always easy, but I usually try. I have to admit, a fresh blanket of snow is a beautiful sight. You see here a few shots of some lovely snowy sights. However, I have to say that all these photos were taken within a few feet of my front door. My admiration of fresh snow does not extend to cold, wet feet! It seems that I still have some ways to go in my appreciation of winter.

One of my other favorite winter pastimes is to pick out the seeds that I'll use come spring. The catalogs begin to arrive in December, when I'm busy with holiday preparations. I set aside these glossy books full of flower "candy" to be enjoyed in the middle of a cold winter's day. Only then I do I lay them all out in front of me and begin to study the possibilities. After folding down the corners of  the pages that interest me, I begin to haunt the local seed displays. Once I purchase what I can in the stores, only then do I complete my catalog order. These treasured seed packets hold all the vegetables
 and flowers that my garden will hold for the season. What a concept!

But my favorite way to get through the winter season is one I've preached about many times here on my blog. When it seems that winter will never end, I visit Franklin Park Conservatory, where summer always holds sway. At this time of year, they have orchids on display. This year the display is called Orchid Utopia. There are so many different types of orchids that I don't bother trying to learn their names. I just wander around admiring them, stopping to take countless photos. In this way I can temporarily pretend that winter doesn't exist.

I'm sure that some gardeners actually enjoy winter, and more power to them if they do. Me, I need all the coping mechanisms that I can. And if I keep busy with all of these winter "gardening" activities before I know winter really will be gone. That's when the real gardening begins.