Crocus Sprouts - Is Winter Starting to End?

I think sometimes that the word 'February' actually means ‘fear of winter not ending'.

We do begin to see subtle signs of spring around here in February, like these little tiny crocus leaves coming up.

And we start to notice just a hint of daylight in the eastern sky as we drive to work in the morning. Or some days, like today, temperatures actually get up to the 50’s and we can leave our coats unbuttoned.

But as soon as we think that spring is just around the corner, we are likely to get hit by a big snowstorm and then we think that winter, February, will never end.

Did you know that the fear of snow is called chionophobia, and that there are some actual fears that some people might have that could keep them from gardening?

The biggie would be the fear of plants, which is called botanophobia according to The Phobia List. How could anyone even live with a fear of plants?

Are you afraid of trees? That’s called dendrophobia. And if you are afraid of the entire forest, you suffer from hylophobia, unless you are only afraid of the forest at night, then you have nyctohylophobia, and you really should consider a home on the prairie.

For those who don’t have vegetable gardens, maybe you suffer from lachanophobia, the fear of vegetables?

Someone who has misophobia, the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs, wouldn’t be much use as a gardener, would they? And people who have seplophobia, a fear of decaying matter, probably avoid having compost bins in their garden.

I could not find ‘fear of gardens’ any where on this list. Does that mean that no one has ever feared gardens? Or just that this listmaker hasn’t found a reference to it yet?

Assuming there is no previously defined word meaning ‘fear of gardens’, let’s figure out, right here and now, what that word should be.

Per the list maker, 'phobia' is a Greek word and proper phobia names use a Greek word combined with 'phobia'. Doing some online search, I came across the Greek word paradeisos which means 'royal garden'.

Therefore, I hereby declare that the fear of gardens is paradeisosphobia, pronounced 'pair-a-dice-o-phobia'.

Also missing from the phobia list is a word for 'fear of gardening'. Further research on Greek words turns up kipourikos for 'gardening', so the fear of gardening shall be called kipourikosphobia, which I suggest we pronounce 'key-pour-eh-ko-phobia'. Put the accent on whichever syllable seems right to you.

I pray no one suffers from paradeisosphobia or kipourikosphobia, and that soon spring will be here. I bet you do, too, especially if the arrival of spring means fewer of these kinds of posts about gardening subjects that only come up when one is stuck inside in the winter time!

Anyway, my crocuses are starting to come up.


  1. Yeah! Signs of life! My bamboo is starting to shoot as well, good chance that winter is winding down when that happens. Fear not! Warm temperatures and green, flowering plants are around the corner. Great post Carol!


  2. I wonder what the inside of your mind looks like, Carol - a round treasure house with many drawers full of gems and pearls? How do you keep coming up with these amazing ideas?

    Fear of gardening may not be common, but I've known people who freak out at the idea of weeding.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Too funny Carol. What is the fear of killing off house plants called? That's what I have.

  4. Mad Man Bamboo (Sean)… Fear not, yes, but I am about to name some more phobias.

    Annie…. Weeds came up zizanio, so fear of weeds might be zizaniophobia (zee-zan-e-o-phobia). I couldn’t find a word for weeding, but if you suffered from zizaniophobia, you could beg off weeding! I don’t know what’s in my mind.

    Sherry… The word I found for killing is dolofonia so how about dolofoniabotanaphobia (do-lo-fo-nia-bo-tan-a-phobia) for the fear of killing plants (inside or outside).

    Anticipating that someone might ask, a Greek word I found for hoe is skalizo, so is fear of hoes, skalizophobia? (ska-liz-o-phobia). If you had that phobia, you wouldn’t want to be in my garage alone.

    I get the Greek words from a website that translates English to Greek, then add ‘phobia’. I have no idea how close I am, or if someone who knew Greek would think ‘what a goof’. But I am having some fun with this. Try it! Here’s the site for English to Greek translation, right click to open in a new window. Give your fears their own names and let us know what they are, unless you have a fear of commenting, which might be scholiophobia (sco-lee-o-phobia).

    Thanks for the comments!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  5. Annie also has the jewelry box of a mind, doesn't she? Your blog makes my day. Thanks for your great creativity.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  6. My crocuses are getting bolder every day. I'm still expecting at least one more snow and/or freeze in February or March, so we're not quite out of winter yet. But Spring is on its way!

  7. Oh, Carol--this post had me smiling. I was picturing that scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" where Lucy is trying to figure out what Charlie Brown's problem is by naming phobias. When she gets to "the fear of everything," he screams "That's it!!!" I love that movie....

    Now I have to go see if my crocuses are up!

  8. Aha, Carol - it seems that you should be referred to as a Skalizophiliac!


  9. Just to let you know it's carnival time, and your link is up.

  10. First time stopping by your blog, really enjoyed your posts....I'm moving to MT in the Spring, I've been down here in CA for 20 years where everything grows well...I'll have challenges in my new location for sure, I'll be checking in with you on some tips for my short growing season in Philipsburg MT

    Great Blog....Chris

  11. Like Colleen, I was immediately reminded of Lucy dispensing psychiatric advice to Charlie Brown.

    For us southern gardeners, how about a fear of summer's heat? Solophobia? Or thermophobia?

  12. LOL! Okay, Lucy van Pelt, what do you call the fear that rabbits will devour your garden?

  13. I have what Sherry has - fear of killing indoor plants. Actually, the root of the matter is, fear of bugs that indoor plants inevitably bring. Great post!

  14. How you tie these posts together! Fear of February and winter never ending. That made me smile. I'm starting to see a little green here too. I'm ready for a little spring.~~Dee

  15. It's amazing how fast the crocuses bloom after those tiny leaves appear. I fear squirrels chewing them off before I get to enjoy them.

  16. It's been a few days since I've read your blog, Carol, and here I find out you've got crocuses up, too! I was just shocked to go out today and see them, leaves and all! I had seen where Robin had some double snowdrops blooming, and I've got those and TULIPS starting to emerge, too! But did you see the forecast for the weekend? Low of 5!! UGH. But that's February, I guess.

  17. I found a new gardening fear today. I was tending my three-level light garden when I heard a loud "plop" and saw a full grown red wiggler worm madly squirming in an empty tray on the bottom shelf (where there should be no worms - though there may be some living on the top shelf in the larger pots). I don't know how that worm got there, but was I ever glad it didn't land in my hair!

  18. Carol,
    You are such a thoughtful blogger. What could you do with the "significance of 38 seconds?" Check out my newest post... and pass it on! ;-)

  19. Okay, I have snowdrops and crocuses both insanely optimistic and blooming. Check them out on today's post.

    Fear of hoes? I loveit.

  20. oh - I'm with Annie! I have a FEAR of weeding! it strikes terror into my heart. And while I loved being out in the sunny 70+ degree day today, planting, pruning, and cleaning, so did the weeds. They are starting to outnumber to plants that survived the winter in my rock pathway. They are so happy and growing and SPREADING. I fear them!

  21. Frances, Thanks for the nice compliment! You made my day.

    Xris, I'm also expecting more snow before it is all over. Should be back in the teens by Sunday.

    Colleen, I did think of that scene, too, the more I wrote about the phobias. I hope you have crocuses, too.

    Annie in Austin, Now that I've figured out what that is, it's very funny!

    Sue Swift, Thanks, I'll be around to check out the blog carnival soon.

    Knitting mania, Thank you for visiting and leaving a nice comment. I never think that I have a "short growing season" because I've always gardened in zone 5 and it is what I am used to. If I can help in anyway, just holler!

    Pam/digging, Solophobia sounds legitimate to me!

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I could only find a Greek word for rabbit, "kouneli". So I'll call the fear of rabbits 'kouneliphobia'.

    Nikkipolani, Fear of insects actually is on the list...Entomophobia

    Dee/Reddirtrambling, We are all ready for a little spring!

    Entangled, No squirrels here, so I don't have that fear. I just hope the crocuses bloom soon.

    Kylee, I did see the forecast for the weekend, back to very cold again!

    Gardenista, Fear of worms is on the list, too. Scoleciphobia. Though I don't know what the fear of worms getting in your hair is called.

    Shady Gardener, I did check it out and will try to pass it on later this week.

    Healingmagichands, I will check out what you have blooming. I'll probably be jealous!

    Diana, Don't let the weeds sense your fear, it only makes them grow more!

    Thanks all for the comments and for having some fun with phobias.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!