"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.
And then, earlier this week, Vicki introduced me to Horti . . . and I fell right into that rabbit hole! (Can you say . . . Sign. Me. Up?)
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.
I have been looking at indoor growing options too. My son-in-law is already starting seeds in his set up and I really want to get a jump on the garden this year. I hesitate to say it (bad juju) but we have also had a very mild winter. I know that means some of the pests haven’t been forced out so that might not be good for the garden but I am loving being able to get out and walk every day. Embroidery, quilting, and garden dreaming are my current diversions.
Posted by: Juliann | 01/28/2021 at 09:13 AM
Oh, I have been thinking about indoor gardening and wondering if I should give it a try. Winter does get so bleak around here. We haven't had any snow since early December, but everything is just so gray. A little greenery sprouting up is so appealing!
Posted by: Laurie | 01/28/2021 at 10:28 AM
Keep us posted on how your herb garden goes. I'm interested....and wondering how it will fare when it is left for trips up north.
Posted by: Valerie | 01/28/2021 at 10:34 AM
Oh boy! I need more info on that indoor garden! Is that the "Harvest" model? I really need one of these for herbs -- the ones we use all the time! I cannot wait for my next Horti delivery. So easily amused!
Posted by: Vicki | 01/28/2021 at 10:36 AM
I didn't realize you'd had a light'ish winter in MI, too. I think the most challenging part of looking out at my garden in winter is seeing all the beige! Blah! I'll take a blanket of white over that any day, because it leaves a little bit to my imagination. Seasons like this one push me all the more to consider 'winter interest' in deciding What to Plant Next! Enjoy your indoor herbs. Delightful.
Posted by: Carolyn | 01/28/2021 at 11:21 AM
We've had a similarly mild winter here so far, too, and it seems almost like teasing to go outside and see the start of the spring flowers coming up. I have some indoor plants that I've been tending to, but our forced air heating in the room with the best sunlight is killing them! Boo.
Posted by: Sarah | 01/28/2021 at 11:37 AM
He-llloooo Horti! I'll be checking out that rabbit hole. We've currently got 4 inches of snow on top of ice...bring on the spikes. Looks like our first real cold is coming this weekend...happy to hole up and read/knit/watch/drink/veg! :-)
Posted by: Patty | 01/28/2021 at 12:00 PM
Horti is definitely tempting - I need new plants for my office at the library! So, which one of those AeroGardens did you get?! My zinnia and celosia seeds from Floret arrived last week. Sigh.
Posted by: Carole | 01/28/2021 at 01:23 PM
How big is it? The light thing?
Posted by: kim in oregon | 01/28/2021 at 04:25 PM
Nice! Our first seed catalogue arrived BEFORE Christmas!!! And they keep coming. Garden Dreaming - it's a thing. Horti is very cool (I love the Marimo - so interesting!). Our winter has been quite mild too. Looking outside, I can see that they have brined the streets. Snow is forecast Sunday late into Tuesday! Whether or not we really see it will be another thing. How is your garden Buddah doing?
Posted by: Vera | 01/28/2021 at 04:47 PM
I have looked at that AeroGarden a number of times! Hmmm, that is pretty spiffy!
(and yeah... Horti is so intriguing)
Posted by: Kat | 01/28/2021 at 06:28 PM
It looks to me like you are onto something with that AeroGarden. Keep dreaming the gardening dream.
Posted by: Jane | 01/28/2021 at 07:49 PM
all THREE of the things you shared look like fun ways to think about gardening - in the spring, right now, and delivered to your doorstep :-)
Posted by: Mary | 01/28/2021 at 08:46 PM