Garden Reading in the Snow

Snowy Portal

Snowy Portal


We had rain last night and snow this morning — big, fluffy flakes that dusted the ground and the magnolia trees before more rain made them melt. There are a few things I’d like to do in the garden — weed the southern half of the herb bed one more time, put away some wire supports that are still out in the cottage and woodland gardens. I’m worried that the daffodils and day lilies are already trying to sprout — it’s been unseasonably warm here until the last week or so. I’d like to do a bit of protective magic on them. But today was too cold and wet. Instead, I stayed inside and read about gardening.

A very dear friend gave me One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place for Yule, and I’m loving the discussion of early Twentieth Century gardening and Welty’s relationship with her garden.

Gardenista has a lovely post about cottage gardens. This, in particular, rings true: “The gardens we love are more about feelings than facts.” Another beloved friend recently sent me a picture of a plaque with Alfred Austin’s quote: “Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like.” And every garden is, of course, greater than the sum of its parts.

One of my favorite garden writers, Amy Stewart, has listed tons of gardening ebooks available for $1.99. I’m adding half a dozen of them to my iPad Kindle, starting with Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden. Who knows? By the time Spring comes, I may even have read all of them.

Is gardening one of your resolutions? If so, or even (especially) if not, you should read what Andrew Weil has to say about it. I especially like his Wendell Berry quote about growing our own food: “It is — in addition to being the appropriate fulfillment of a practical need — a sacrament, as eating is also, by which we enact and understand our oneness with the Creation, the conviviality of one body with all bodies.” I know that gardening is, indeed, a sacrament for me.

Do you garden? How do you pass the months when it’s too cold?

Picture found here.

2 responses to “Garden Reading in the Snow

  1. I love gardening, but we rent and have an uptight elderly couple as landlords and we choose to be mindful of their boundaries. Small steps, one at a time. Spring might see a veggie patch issue forth from all the wonderful compost we’re currently amassing!

    Winter is about indoor projects, repairs and preparing.

  2. Widdershins, let me know what you wind up growing!

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