What Gardeners Do In Winter

What do you do in the winter, Dear Gardeners?

I putter in the shed for an hour on most days, transplanting seedlings that have outgrown their pots, chasing aphids, cleaning, pruning......but it isn't gardening.

Well, it's too wet and cold to garden outside though I have some perennials and lots of bulbs to put in the ground as soon as the sun shines again.

The next batch of seed starting will have to wait until after all the holiday travel is over and there is time to baby the seeds every day.

I do believe this is the time of year that we can get ourselves over committed, at least in our imagination. Seed catalogs are arriving and this year everyone is having some kind of a special deal to help us out. Are you ordering?

What are you reading? I subscribe to Jim Conrad's Naturalist Newsletter which is "Issued from Hacienda Chichén beside the Maya ruin of Chichén Itzá in the central Yucatán, Mexico".

In this week's issue Conrad talks about fruit bats, orioles, a gray hawk, a Barbados Cherry type plant called Nance, Tree Daisies, Devil's Claw, and the Pixoy Tree.

At the end of his post, here's what he says -
"Often during a walk in the woods I start thinking about something, develop all kinds of contorted theories, then in a moment of revelation simplify the whole matter by coming up with a streamlined insight, but then if I keep refining that insight, usually I come to the conclusion that, really, there's no reason to say or do anything about the whole issue to begin with.
It's one of those Yin/Yang things: So often, the perfect action is non-action; but non-action is so inharmonious with vigorously evolving reality that one senses its inappropriateness.
Again we are drawn to the golden Middle Path, which is never a compromise or averaging of extremes, but rather its own thing, invisible and unique, and maybe impossible to follow unerringly. In these essays, I struggle to follow the Middle Path with regard to talking about nature-rooted philosophy by employing the trick of directing you to parts of Nature saying things I'd like to express myself.
So, please consider last Wednesday night -- or rather early Thursday morning. I awoke and saw through my mosquito netting that it was so light outside that already I should have been out jogging. When I got outside, however, I realized that all that brilliance was moonlight. It was just 3 AM. I shook my head and laughed, realizing that after all these years I could still be fooled by underestimating just how bright a full-moon night can be.
I didn't begrudge the Moon for having tricked me into going outside. A thin, coagulated cloud-cover blanketing the whole sky was being driving hard toward the northeast, and a breeze even stirred here below. Moonlight intensity changed constantly, depending on how dense the cloud cover was between the Moon and me. The longer I watched it all, the more the erratic breezes and rapidly changing moonlight intensity seemed like a kind of all-embracing, arrhythmic throbbing, a wildness so vivid and uncontrolled that it was almost unnerving.
But, all this I experienced in the context of standing in a broad ocean of cricket chimes. That shimmering tintinnabulation was like a rooted OMMMMMMMM all around, a crystalline ommmmmmmm shattered into scintillating dust, dust that lay there evenly coating the world like dew singing of itself.
The cricket chimes were my steady platform for viewing and dealing with the shifting wind and Moon.
See? Really I've said nothing here, but I'm hoping that by saying nothing the Moon and Her crickets shall have said something worthwhile to you."

Jim Conrad's website is Backyard Nature at http://www.backyardnature.net/


Anonymous said…
aloha carol,

i end up reading alot of garden blogs and visiting, cookie making, eating....its excessive in all directions...although here in hawaii the weeds are still getting taller and the container plants are getting potbound, alot of dead heading to doo and endress trimming...its never ending in my neck of the woods, carol.

happy winter contemplating.


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