Monday, March 05, 2007

Late winter

If we're lucky enough(?) to live in a place that has four seasons to the year, then I think it must be inevitable to be anxious for each seasonal change. I'd guess the anticipation of spring is most common; however I find myself anticipating the end of summer and heat more than I do the return to that type of weather. Yet, as much as I love the cold of fall and winter, I do get to missing the garden. March is a funny month; with the equinox we think of it as the first month of spring, but here in NJ at least, the weather is anything but spring-like most days, and the garden has to wait.

Whatever else it may be, I think of March as a month of anticipation. There are good things to come, but also much to appreciate at this in-between time of year. Maybe just to convince myself to be happy at this week's return to below freezing temps, I made a list of some of the things that, as a gardener, I enjoy about late winter. Maybe you'd like to add to it?
  • Catalogs, of course! I love to spend a weekend afternoon dreaming about what my garden might be this year and marking up the pages of my favorite catalogs with yellow sticky notes on the photos of the most colorful and unusual plants. At some point reality sets in and I order only a third of what I would really like and still don't have a permanent place for most of it.

  • Anticipating the first weekend of spring cleanup and that first sweet smell of the earth warming up. The restlessness of spring-fever and the urge to be out of the house.

  • Winter bouquets: acorns and pinecones, red osier dogwood twigs, witch hazel, pussy willows, forsythia...

  • Freedom from weeding and mowing and plant pests.

  • Anything is possible now; everything a promise.
"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dreams." --Barbara Winkler

17 comments:

GreenmanTim said...

I feel exactly the same way, but it strikes me that these observations also apply to Spring Training for baseball fans. Up until opening Day, we could win it all this year and anything is possible!

NatureWoman said...

Going to Arizona! Because it is very damp and cold here in March I can't wait to see and feel the sunshine. Then it gets me through 'til it is really spring here.

Susan said...

I revel in the planning, looking around the yard and imagining what I can put here and there. And also thinking how I can convince Geoff that a pond in the back yard is a good idea.

Mary said...

I look forward to the smell of fresh mowed grass, walking around with my garden gloves and pulling the first weeds, looking for sprouting bulbs, and planning for what I'd love to see around the house. Also, looking forward to a trip to the nursery and browsing.

LauraHinNJ said...

Tim: Should I guess who your team is?
;-)
Thanks for stopping by.

Naturewoman: So you'd miss March all together? Probably not a bad plan considering the weather upstate!

Susan: Get him going on that pond! You'll enoy it so much.

Mary: I love visitng the nurseries too! But you can keep the weeds!

John said...

Lately it seems to be three seasons rather than four in the mid-Atlantic. We have had a little more than one month of true winter. That said, I do enjoy seeing the flowers come out and the singing migrant birds return.

Dave said...

Our spring will be in late April or early May. The hardest part is waiting for the last frost so we can garden outside.

Larry said...

I tried to do a little flower gardening outside of the usual vegetable garden. The flowers came out nice but I never realized how big the sedum plants would get.Now I have to learn how to split things up.-My bigggest discovery last year was that Habanero pepper plants grow well here,-just 3 plants can produce dozens of mega-hot peppers-I made jars of hot pepper stuff and had to give much away.

Jayne said...

Nice thing here is that it comes gradually... the hot, hot stuff not until July/August and then, before you know it, it cools off again. I was just looking at a new catalog from Swan Island Dahlias yesterday contemplating trying a new bed of dahlias here on Chickadee. Indeed, during this transition time, anything is possible, everything a promise.

Liza Lee Miller said...

We have four seasons here but they are more subtle than yours. But you hit on the big things. For me, it's just the thought that SOON, I'll be getting my hands in the dirt and seeing things happen . . . oh, wait, I'm already doing that! Sorry! :)

LauraO said...

Opening all the windows and letting the fresh air in the house. I love the smell of spring air!

dguzman said...

Around March 1, I get the yearly urge to go to Brush Valley Greenhouse, an Amish-owned nursery near my house. (of course it's still too cold to even think of planting) I also love looking at all the seed catalogs, though I must admit I've NEVER ordered seeds by mail! I always anticipate the first mowing of the lawn; lawnmowing is a great time to just think, as no mental involvement in the mowing is required. I also get antsy to see the trees begining to bud; is there anything more symbolic of hope than a tree putting its little bright-green leaf buds out?

Laurie said...

I love the smell of freshly disturbed soil! It makes me think of spring and all of the wonderful things that go on during the warmer months.

Elizabeth said...

Hello. just stopped by after finding you on the FW list - love your blog.
I keep looking out of the window and peeking at the garden, planning my spring tidy up. The hyacinths (blue and white) are smelling beautiful, underneath the magnolia tree which i planted only a couple of years ago... it has just come into bud, and is later than our neighbours, which is flowing already. I adore the Magnolias - so elegant.

Love seeing everything full of promise, so exciting! Hope week 3 of FW is good for you, best wishes, E

Endment said...

I like the winter - gives me time to plan but this month I have started flats of seeds and find delight in watching the tiny leaves unfold.

Endment said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy said...

I do enjoy winter, and the garden is even pretty then. Maybe we are all just getting anxious to get our hoes in the dirt.
My catalog stack went to the reclying after I made my orders. That way, I won't keep ordering more seeds. Although, I did find a place online to get unusual geraniums!!