"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues."
- Hal Borland
So it's been an exceptionally mild winter here in my corner of the world.
Cold. But not THAT cold.
No significant snows to speak of.
Even more sunshine than usual.
I mean, sure. Today . . . when I look out at my garden, it's pretty bleak. There is a bit of snow. And there's ice on the streets and in my driveway. It's definitely winter out there. But it's not that kind of winter where you just resign yourself to not seeing the ground for months and months yet, y'know?
Those kinds of winters - the ones with snow that never stops and temperatures well below freezing for weeks and weeks at a time - make it hard to be a gardener, trapped by winter. But I actually think it's easier, too, in a way. Sure. You get super sick of winter and dream about your garden all the time when it's a winter like that. But you also know it's gonna be a long, long time before the snow melts enough to be able to get out there! There is a certain . . . resignation . . . to the whole season.
This year - in a mild winter? It's even harder, I think. Because - most days - I can SEE my garden. I can think about being IN IT in a much more tangible way than is typical for a January around here. There is no resignation this winter! Just . . . a longing. And a wondering. Will spring come early this year??? Will I really be able to get out there next month, maybe? Or will the other shoe still drop, weather-wise?
My itch to garden is starting even earlier than ever this year.
So, Hal? Your famous list of "seasonal diversions" just isn't cutting it for this gardener this winter! First, we haven't needed a "January thaw." (Nothing much to "thaw," really.) And although the seed catalogs did just started arriving (right on schedule), I'm going to add a third thing to your list . . .
I finally broke down and ordered one of these. I've been thinking about it for years. Every winter, actually. (About the time I run out of the "basil bombs" I made and stored in my freezer during the previous summer.) Erin got one earlier this year. She shows off her fresh herbs to me often enough that . . . I took the plunge and ordered one for myself.
It arrived earlier this week, and I set it up "gardened" yesterday. Soon (relatively speaking), I'll have fresh thyme and basil, dill and parsley! I can't wait.
Despite the mild winter here, I know it's still going to be months and months before I can REALLY get out and into my garden. I'm happy for "seasonal diversions" wherever I can find them.
Maybe there's no dirt under my nails at present.
No smell of fresh earth.
But this is just what I need right now!
(As they say in gardening . . . right plant, right place.)
If you stretch your imagination and squint a little bit, you can see this is a Three on Thursday post. Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday fun.