Winter Interest on the Warm Side of the Windows

Last year's lily of the valley blooms
Winter interest? You mean winter interest outside in the garden where it is now cold?

I like to admire the "winter interest" in the garden while standing on the warm side of the windows. Though, when I look outside now at the garden, mostly what I see is "fall laziness".

That's right, fall laziness.  I didn't do as much fall clean up as I usually do so there are plenty of perennials still standing, many of them likely slinging their seeds all over the garden as you read this.

Then those seeds will germinate this spring and I'll be full of lament. But I won't worry about it now.

Right now, I'll focus on my own favorite points of winter interest, all on that warm side of the window.

My pre-chilled lily of the valley pips are up and growing and I should have blooms to sniff by the weekend. Then I can close my eyes and remember how lovely spring can be.

I have hyacinth bulbs "on vase" and they should be blooming in about a month or so, maybe less.  I have enough that if they all bloom at once, I'll get a winter interest headache from the over powering scent. It's a good headache to have.

Seed catalogs offer hours and hours of winter interest. I don't get as many seed catalogs as I used to but I get enough to keep me happy for most of the winter. Plus, I have a small collection of old seed catalogs if today's catalogs aren't enough winter interest.  And if all that isn't enough, I browse seed sites online.

There is also plenty of winter interest in gardening books.

Old gardening books, especially, are rabbit holes. I can open up an old gardening book and get lost in its pages for hours. I might read about something new-to-me and then end up online doing frantic searches for more information, following one trail and then another, entering what seems like deserted passageways, which expand into yet more twists and turns.  I always learn something and am adept at backing out of dead ends.

What other winter interest is there around here?  If forced Lily of the Valley, Hyacinths, seed catalogs and books aren't enough, I could just put on my coat and go out to the garden.

Kidding. It's cold out there. I think I'll just stay inside and read a book or two, or browse through seed catalogs.  And wait for the forced blooms.

That should keep me busy. At least until spring.


  1. Even just the winter interest lily of the valley were enough for me. And you've reminded me to get my seed catalogues out! Happy January days!

  2. There is nothing like the fragrance of lily of the valley. It is unique. I do hope you have flowers by the weekend. You can pretend it is May and dream and dream and dream.

  3. Love Lily of the valley and hyacinths. Such fragrance!

  4. I tell people it wasn't laziness this fall, but that I'm providing a refuge for the wildlife through the winter. I may regret that this spring when all the volunteers show up:)

  5. Even in Florida, there's nothing like a quiet spot, with seed catalogs and a hot cup of tea.

  6. Winter interest... bah! You're right: it's all inside at this time year, at least in Z7 and colder... Stay warm and toasty inside and enjoy the rest from gardening tasks! -Beth

  7. The cactus and amaryllis are all gone by, but there is a healthy catalog pile, and some new books so all is comfort on the warm side of the window.


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