The Rabbit Holes of Winter

I've recently decided that January is one of my favorite months to think about gardening.

There is time in January to relax a bit.  The holidays are over.  The winds howl and only the hardiest of souls try to garden when the ground is frozen, or nearly so.

It's best to just stay indoors.  Indoors where there are gardening books, and houseplants, and seed catalogs, and warmth, and books.

I'm currently watching my Lily of the Valley pips grow indoors.  I see the beginnings of the flowers.  In just a few days, they should be blooming.

My friend Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings left a comment on a previous post about these pips asking me to report back on how well they work out.  She has never been able to grow Lily of the Valley in her garden, so has never smelled them.

I am pleased to report that so far, they are working out nicely. 

I've also read some comments from other gardeners, both on my post and on a picture I posted on Facebook, about how they may just dig up some Lily of the Valley pips from their own gardens and pot them up inside to force them into bloom.  That may work if they allow time for proper chilling, but proper chilling usually takes from 12 - 15 weeks for Lily of the Valley.  Without proper chilling, I'm not sure when the flowers will bloom.

I didn't like the idea of waiting or wondering, so I paid a rabbit's ransom for my Lily of the Valley pips. Someone else did the pre-chilling before I got them.  I just had to pot them up and then wait a mere three to four weeks.

Because a watched flower never blooms, I've been diverting my attention from the Lily of the Valley to the new library, which was formerly the dining room. Though, to be truthful, it was never really used as a dining room. It was more like that room where I put stuff  to get it out of the way until I decided what I would should do with it.  Mostly what I decided was to let it all just sit there.

But now that room is a library, with proper shelves and cabinets.

This weekend, I started to move the gardening books from other rooms to the library.  I don't really have a system in mind to organize them, yet.  I'm just putting them on the shelves in groupings that probably only make sense to me.

I can attest that it takes great strength and willpower to put these books on the shelves without opening them.  I've had a few "I forgot I owned this book" moments.  I wanted to stop right then and look inside those books, but I was strong and forged ahead with moving more books.

I've also had a few other moments when I've noted "I want to read this book next".  Of course, they can't all be next. I guess once I've moved all the books, the last one I'm holding in my hands while thinking "I want to read this book next" will be the next book I read.

The books are all giant rabbit holes, full of twists and turns. They lead me in all directions, through decades of gardening and around the globe.  Goodness, how many times  have I crossed the ocean in those gardening books?   

I'll probably criss-cross the ocean several more times this winter, with these gardening books as my ship of choice.  I'll be carried away by thoughts of gardening, while outside the wind howls, the ground is frozen and the real rabbits shelter themselves under the big spruce. 

We are all thinking about gardens and waiting for spring.


  1. I am sure the fragrance of those lily of the valley will be worth the 'rabbit's ransom'. I do hope they keep that rabbit. They look wonderful.

  2. Enjoy your new library and your reading rabbit hole. I can't think of a better way to spend January.

  3. What a wonderful gift you've given yourself!

  4. What a wonderful way to enjoy the perfume of Lily of the Valley. Mine seem to be taking such a long time to settle down in the garden, we had just two flowers last year!


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