Gardening in the Winter

For me, gardening isn’t something that I do, it’s who I am. I am a gardener (which is not to say that I’m a Gardnerian — old Wiccan joke). And even now, when my garden has been put to bed under a nice blanket of mulch, I’m gardening. True, I do it from inside my snug little cottage. But I can no more not-garden than I can not-breathe.

One thing that gardeners do in the Winter is to plan (actually, what we do is a lot more like “plot” — double entendre intended — as gardening is always a kind of mad, unlikely-to-succeed plot that utilizes some natural allies against some (bindweed, I’m looking at you) natural foes). We pour over the seed catalogues (aka Garden Porn) that, nowadays, begin arriving in our mailboxes even before the New Year. This week, my R.H. Schumway’s arrived, which is what I consider to be the first “serious” catalogue of the year. And, a lot of us, we read about gardening. (During the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, we’re generally too busy out in the garden to spend time reading about gardening. Although, it’s been known to happen on very rainy days or on days when the Mercury reaches triple digits and D.C.’s humidity climbs in that direction, as well.)

For Yule, Landscape Guy gave me a wonderful book entitled Garden Voices: Stories of Women & Their Gardens by Carolyn Freas Rapp. I’m loving it. Rapp says:

Each woman had her own reasons for gardening and that reason was intimately tied to her life — in every case, a very interesting life. I noticed, too, that gardening was not just something these women did. It was something with which each was in relationship, and they sometimes found that hard to express in words.

. . .

Every woman that I spoke with feels that her garden is her intimate connection with the earth, the sacred Earth.


How does your garden grow this Winter?

Picture (of toad lilies and ostrich ferns in the author’s garden) by the author. If you copy, please link back

One response to “Gardening in the Winter

  1. Those toad lilies and ostrich ferns look so fresh and lovely! In this hemisphere the hardest season when working with plants is the drought and heat of mid-summer, from January through to the end of March.

    And yes, gardening is a way of being for me — and not separated from rewilding the veld or ecological protest. That book on women and their gardens sounds fascinating.

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