winter dreams of summer garden

Posted: February 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

It is winter – February, even.  The snow is compacted and filthy along the sides of the roads.  On days like today, the cold sucks my breath away as I scuttle from my house to my car, my car to my office, and back again.  I sit on the toilet shivering as a wall of cold clutches at me through the wall and window.  My car takes so long to warm up, even after idling a bit in the driveway, that I’m a mile or two down the road before I stop wiggling and muttering imprecations at the chill.  It has been winter for a long time, and there is no end in sight, with folks on Facebook cursing the groundhog’s prediction.  A cardinal landed on the tree outside our kitchen window a day or two ago; I instantly seized my cell phone to Ask the Google whether this was a sign of spring.

Ah, winter.  I am so grateful to live in a temperate zone.  While I like SOME snow and SOME cold, it gets long, even with a 4-ish month seasoning.  I wouldn’t do well in places where it stays colder, longer.

One of my tricks for getting through is dreaming and planning of one of the very best things about all the other seasons:  GARDENING.

Last summer was my triumphant return to gardening after not having any green space to call my own for a number of years.  We had just moved into our home in May; our landlords asked that we keep that first garden small.  It was a “test garden” of sorts; we proved ourselves well enough that we have clearance to go bigger this year.

So we’re dreaming and scheming and plotting and planning.  If I had my way, every inch of our yard would be an edible landscape.  But that would be a lot to take on in a single year, and would take more budget than we have, to come up with the plants plus stepping stones and various items to strategically place around.

I’d love to put in some raspberry bushes and a grape vine.  A strawberry patch would be ideal.  I’m noodling how where we might fit some sunflowers.  My herb garden needs a lot more variety than last year.  I want to grow garlic for my first time.  I want to find a spot for winter onions – maybe they will fit in next to my chives, if they come back.  The variety of greens in the garden this year will be unrivaled.  I’m wondering about turning loose cucumbers and squash on the steep hill portion of the yard – it might beat mowing that.

Then there are other non-vegetation thoughts.  We have a beautiful outdoor bunny hutch that came with the rabbits – we have to place it somewhere strategic.  We have a little square wire compost bin that is too small for our composting; I’m relocating that stuff and converting the compost bin to a “bunny run” where they can nibble grass and such.  We’re talking about a little hang-out area near the garden, complete with our big swing and maybe a fire pit, if we can come up with one.  The bunnies might like hanging out there with us, eh?

Then there is the space outside of our kitchen window.  We sit at that window every morning over breakfast, watching the neighbor’s back yard being a serene getaway for local squirrels, rabbits, the occasional fox, sometimes families of deer, and a beaver who spends a surprising amount of time there.  Recently we had a fun idea – perhaps a bird house just outside the window.  We’d have to do it knowing that we would as likely be feeding squirrels as birds, but I’d like to give it a try.  We even have a thought about one of those “pallet couches” that are being posted on Facebook these days, though we’d have to figure out how to get that many pallets home, without a truck to haul them in.

It’s all a lot of fun.  The imagining sure does help February go by a little more gently.

Are YOU making yard and garden plans?

  1. Linda says:

    Karen, I have a fireplace you can have At my old house. Soon as ground loosens it up we can go get it if you’d like it.

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