Prince Snow Farm

2.07.2015

What Gardeners Do in Winter

 I thought it was high time to interrupt this Massachusetts winter with a bit of garden talk.

Because all over the Northeast, as snow continues to fall., and 
winter has become a bore (and a chore)….


...there are gardeners who are thinking of things other than the icy driveways...


...the difficulties driving...


….the mile high snowdrifts….


….and the impending forecasts.



We are planning.


First it is a flash through our minds. A color, a texture a scent. It's a memory from a moon swept summer evening, or a dewy morning's lung-filling air. (so pure)


Then it is about glossy paged catalogs and reliable websites. We read up on our favorites. 


We work our budgets and draw our maps.


We check our seed supply from last year, our own personal seed banks. We nod at what flourished, and shake our heads at what did not. (But it's always fun trying).


The lists begin…what to plant and when to plant it.



Perhaps that tomato variety a friend recommended, or a flower that reminds us of a loved one.


The planning process is purposeful, yet delicate; it is eagerness and patience bundled pleasantly together.


Perhaps Mother Nature knew that gardeners needed this time...


…a time to plan what we will guide forth from this earth...


…a time to dream of a velvety petal or a golden pumpkin.


A time to relish in the past, yet hope for the future.


This year I feel I am being called to teach about gardening...


…to encourage new gardeners, to guide those who have become complacent ...



…but most of all, to show how something so simple can change us forever.

A request:

Please share a gardening tip, favorite plant, memory of the garden, or garden story in the comments section! I will be compiling your ideas into a future post. 

Please include your location.

Feel free to share this post on Facebook so that we can compile LOTS of ideas from gardeners everywhere!

Thanks!




23 comments:

  1. We are planning too! Probably going to expand and add beds this year. And are so excited to finally be able to harvest asparagus after a few years of waiting. We always have luck with the pole beans in southern Illinois. However my SIL in the other end of town, always has better results with bush beans. But it's the potatoes (Yukon and sweet) that are so much fun and never fail to amazing me.
    Love,
    Christy

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    1. Tell me more about the process of growing asparagus! I fixed some with dinner last night and found myself wondering if I could grow it. :) How many years does it take before yo can harvest it? In the years before you harvest it, how do you tend it? What zones tend to be best for keeping it going?

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    2. I'm not sure about the zones, so you'll have to google that. But everything I read says you have to wait 3 years before harvesting completely in order to let the plant grow strong and ensure years and years of asparagus. We bought 1 year old crowns and planted them in a square foot garden. The last two years we just let them grow, never cutting them. It's so weird to see the vegetable grow so tall, probably 4-5 feet. And the top part sprouts and bushes out. It's wild. Come fall, once the foliage starts to yellow, everything is cropped at the dirt level and then prepare to overwinter by laying down straw. Hope that helps.

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  2. I need to think of a story, but for now, thank-you for giving this snowed-in gardener a big, dreamy smile!

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  3. You captured this gardener's winter perfectly!!! I've finally allowed myself to start dreaming, planning, and researching now that we're getting a littke closer to the end of winter.

    My love for gardening began when I helped my Grandma and Ghiddu tend their houseplants and puttered around with my Grandmaand Grandpa in their flower and vegetable gardens. I was young and they were all so patient. When I was a teenager, I met a woman named Alice who became one of my best friends. She taught me all about gardening in the PNW and reminded me of my love for planting and tending. Years have gone by and each year my gardens change just a little bit more. The one thing that hasn't changed is the joy I find in joining God in the cultivation of this place we call home for now. :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing Victoria! My own journey began as a child, so I totally relate!

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  4. My only garden story is that very little has been planted by me. I will look outside one day and there will be a flower blooming and I have no idea how it got there. But, I do know. We have a wonderful symphony in the garden at this moment - the faithful birds who live in our yucca trees. I know that they are the sneaky gardeners who drop seeds here and there throughout the year. Maybe the sounds we hear right now is their conversation and laughter about what a bad gardener I am and how much work they have to do.

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    1. I love this idea that a flower mysteriously appears! Perhaps a seed dropped by a bird? So many possibilities! I do believe the birds have conversations! And I adore your garden, you are a thoughtful gardener!

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  5. Although I live in north Florida, we too, are planning our spring/summer gardens. You photos give reassurance that soon winter will be over.

    Stay warm.

    velva

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  6. I’m chuckling because I just came inside from taking pictures of all the plants that are just barely showing above the snow. I figured I’d do this before the next foot of snow that we’re expecting finishes burying them, And I see that you have pictures of flowers in full bloom. You have such a great eye and your pictures are beautiful.

    Your question is very thought provoking. I had to gaze out the window for a while watching the snow start to lightly come down thinking “When did I become interested in gardening?” I think it’s a two part answer. The first part is when I was young; my grandfather had a strawberry patch with plants that had requisite straw under them. He explained to me how they grew and had to be taken care of. Who knew that they didn’t grow in boxes in the grocery store?

    The second is I discovered wild daylilies at my first house. Since then I now have over 25 types growing around my present house. I have my eye on another couple hundred varieties. And did you know that there a couple hundred types of hostas? So much to learn.

    Good question. And what a perfect day to ponder the answer.

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    1. Hi Larry! Somehow I do not think there are any plant above the snow anymore! I love your story of the strawberries and your Grandpa. So many children never have this simple lesson. What fun that you are planning new gardens. I planted my first day lilies last year! There are 2 farms here in Mattapoisett that have hundreds of varieties. You will have to visit! Also, we have many host varieties…but the deer ate them last summer. Meanies. Lastly, I will encourage you to plant gladiolus this year. I planted them last year and was so pleased with their production, color, and old fashioned goodness. Hope you are surviving this weather, more on the way tomorrow!

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  7. Love the new look to your blog. and looking forward to your new ideas. I'm sowing seeds at the moment, and went to the get the organic disposable small pots I keep in the shed and found that they were all chewed, probably the mice, oh well I thought at least they will have a nice comfy nest for the winter. I was wondering what to use, then remembered what my older brother used to use, he would never buy anything when he could improvise. He would make pots from old newspapers and the soft card type of egg boxes. So that's what I did. Another thing he used was the cardboard tube from inside a toilet roll, this is great for sweet peas to start them off indoors on a sunny window ledge. Then later when the weather is warmer & they are big enough to plant outside you can just put the whole thing in the ground and the paper or cardboard just rots away in the ground.

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    1. Thanks Barbara Lillian! How fabulous that you are sowing seeds. I will do it in March. Last year I planted them too early and had some big plants taking over.I change what I plant in yearly. Who know what I will use this year. I like your brother's improvisation!

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  8. One of my earliest gardening memories is from Aberdeen, Scotland, and helping to snip the purple flowers off the top of my Dad's chive plant. It was a puzzle to me then how something so pretty could be unwanted in the garden (it was, of course, to stop the plant going "to seed"). But it's probably a nice example of the need to make little sacrifices, like cutting back a beautiful shrub, in order to protect for the future. But I guess gardening is all about making an upfront investment of time and effort, to reap the rewards later.

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    1. What a lovely memory Pauline! How true that we sometimes have to sacrifice to encourage growth. I always have a hard time with that!

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  9. Thanks for the talk. Also want to mention, some wonderful photos! Thank you!

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  10. Thanks for sharing a spot of summer on this cold winter day with yet another storm brewing. I can't even remember what gardening is. Do you shovel dirt?

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    1. I cannot remember either! I know that I am going to revel in every second!

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  11. Tears in my eyes because I just visited with Balisha - what a charming and strong woman.

    Thanks for the introduction.

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    1. Oh I know. I check every day to see if she has posted, or if her husband has left a comment.She is an amazing, thoughtful woman, a very talented gardener, and a kind soul.

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Thanks for chatting!

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