The wait of winter

A comment from Kira on my last post echoes a sentiment I read recently in an article by Tovah Martin in Horticulture Magazine and something I’m feeling the crush of too: we’ve had a long enough break from the garden. Isn’t a month or two around the holidays plenty of time before we start feeling the pull of plants again? That’s why Tovah so smartly forces spring bloomers inside. And that’s why Kira (one of our volunteers, incidentally), Gail and I and probably the entire population of gardeners exiled indoors devour every word in every seed catalog. Starting about now, we cannot wait for spring.

I suspect I’d be more interested in winter – because I usually love it – if last week’s snowfall hadn’t parked on the garden like a Mack truck. My hopes of seedheads poking prettily up through winter snows were laid flat. Now I can almost see now the virtue in cutting everything back in fall because why not? if it isn’t going to add loveliness to our winter view. But I  have to remember it isn’t just for us. The birds don’t care what it looks like, so we’ll keep keeping as much standing for them as we can.

As gloomy as I’m suddenly feeling about winter, if spring really was right around the corner, I’d probably say I wasn’t ready after all. Gail and I still need the time to go through catalogs and attend classes (maybe bee school for me this year) and even though I’m no good at waiting (a whole week between Downton Abbey episodes makes me crazy) I know that anticipation will sweeten spring’s arrival. Meanwhile there’s nothing to do for it but to go out and find the pretty in winter and practice Zen-like patience. I’m glad to report that it was easier than I thought it would be to enjoy winter this morning as the fog lifted off the snow. Even tipped over and smashed, the garden was as pretty as I could ever hope it would be.

Is the wait of winter weighing heavily on you – or your garden – too?