The fourth and final phase of winter gardening will be upon us before we know it, if we can just hang on.
If you are not familiar with these four phases of winter gardening for us northern gardeners, a quick review…
Phase one is all about Putting Away all that ‘stuff’ in the garden that won’t withstand the vagaries of winter weather. I started this phase a little too late this past fall and was out there in the already cold weather trying to put two large brown tarps over chairs, benches, tables, pots, etc. Twice since then I’ve had to go out and fasten down the tarps again or risk them sailing across the garden.
Phase two is all about Settling In and enjoying the holidays. The holidays were just grand here at May Dreams Gardens and after I showed off my new hoe and set up my new weather station in a manner that will get it through the winter until I can do it properly in the spring, I actually painted my kitchen and breakfast area. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment to have that project finally finished after I had foolishly started doing it during the height of gardening season. Everyone told me to wait, that I wouldn’t get it done as long as there was gardening to be done, and they were right.
Phase three is currently going on and is all about Chilling Out. It’s about seed catalogs and indoor plants, forcing bulbs and dreaming of the garden and how it is going to be the best ever this year. Because it is.
Up next is Phase four of winter gardening which is all about Surviving It.
As winter drags on, we complete our seed orders, watch the forced blooms fade, and realize our house plants really don’t need all that much attention.
We look out the window hoping it won’t snow or ice up, again.
We’ve placed the snow blower in the ‘ready position’ in place of the lawn mower, and we spend more time with snow shovels than with hoes.
We notice our winter coat weighs a ton, and the scarf and gloves we’ve been wearing almost daily really could stand to be washed, again.
We wait. We wait some more. We look out the window. We sigh. We read the garden blogs of southern gardeners and want to see our gardens in bloom again, too.
And then one day, a crocus will bloom.
And then a tiny dwarf iris will add some color, like the Iris danfordiae pictured above, which bloomed in my garden last year on March 14th.
Then we’ll be on our way again, excited for spring. And looking back, it won’t seem like winter took that long, after all. We will have made it through all the holidays, another birthday, another Ground Hog Day, another Presidents Day. We will have survived the winter, all four phases, and soon…
We’ll be outside gardening again!