Random thoughts about a gardeners' winter pursuits
| 'Tis winter and here in the north the earth rests under a snowy mantle. Root and seed alike hibernate, conserving their energy for a time better suited to survival, when our hemisphere tilts once again toward the life giving sun and rising temperatures gently waken the sleepers.
Gardeners too endure a hibernation of sorts. Denied those tasks we so enjoy by the Arctic winds and their cold, cruel embrace, we seek to appease our
horticultural cravings with a poultice of the written word, pictures, plans, dreams, and conversation with like minded people.
Sitting snug in our homes, we can be found pouring over newly arrived seed and plant catalogs - a Sharpie ever at the ready to highlight potential actors we feel will compliment the cast already assembled on the earthen stage of our gardens come spring.
Digital cameras and computers are a Godsend to any who exhibit the slightest symptoms of 'cabin fever'. Go get yourself a steaming mug of your favorite Joe, put on some quiet background music, and have a seat at the keyboard of this wonderful creation. Digital slide shows are so far removed from the photo albums of the past, with their vinyl sleeves and oft cracked and/or yellowing collections that I at times find it hard to believe they are still being used. Suddenly it is no longer a mere computer but a quasi time machine, capable of taking us back - however briefly - with tantalizing images of gardens past as it coaxes dormant memories to the surface so we may enjoy them once again. "Oh Gawd, who put that picture in here?" you think to yourself, casually glancing over each shoulder to see if anyone saw that dreadful shot of last summers failed hypertufa statue experiment that you just had to put in the garden. ...
Ah, the internet. What a truly marvelous invention this is. (A brief image of Wayne and Garth, kneeling in supplication while chanting "We're not worthy." just flitted like butterfly across the forefront of my mind and was gone just as suddenly.) Between the blogs, forums, email, chat rooms, virtual tours, etc., and the endless research possibilites there is more than enough here to stave off boredom for pleasurable hours at a time 24/7/365. Each hour spent online is one hour closer to that glorious day when you first notice that the Crocuses are pushing up through the ground. No need to elaborate any further. Just the fact that you're reading this is pretty much confirms you've got a hook in your mouth that looks curiously like the one in mine.
There are many other pursuits. I've only listed a few of my favorites, and while all of them help, I've come to find such diversions are little more than first aid. The only sure 'fix' involves a warm sun, knees on the ground, and dirt under our fingernails.