I am pretty sure that those gardeners who garden in climates where there is no killing frost, no forced dormancy, no real end to a gardening season, secretly envy those of us who have gardens that die back and go dormant for several winter months.
Why would they be envious of us?
Because in the winter, we northern gardeners get a rest!
I don’t know about others, but I usually just let the garden sleep through the winter and go about doing some non-gardening things like reading gardening books, studying seed catalogs and thinking about what to do in the garden in the spring, the spring of my perfect garden.
(What? Those aren’t non-gardening activities? I’m not getting my hands dirty or using pruners or a hoe when I do them, so they can’t be gardening activities. Therefore, they must be non-gardening activities, right?)
I have time to do all of those non-gardening activities because I don’t have to water, plant, harvest, deadhead, or mow. I just do what I can in the garden in the fall until it’s too cold and dark to do any more and then let the garden fend for itself until spring.
Some northern gardeners put on a good show of whining and lamenting about the end of the growing season. They do it every year, in person, on blogs, through pictures. They’ve mastered it with whines like…
“The killing frost has finished off my vegetable garden.”
“I miss the smell of dirt.”
“I would love to have some flowers bloom.”
And my personal favorite…
“Blowing snow off the drive is a poor substitute for mowing.”
In spite of this well-practiced routine of whining, which I’ll admit to occasionally participating in at times, I’m on good terms with the killing frost. It starts the process of wiping the ‘slate of the garden’ clean for me in the fall so I can start fresh, and renewed, in the spring.
I’m so good with the killing frost that I have chosen to express it in an artistic way. By moving the camera when I took the picture above, I created abstract art.
I call it “Frosted Impatiens”.