doodle by andre: s.o.s. from the tundra

shelter by andreONE FRIEND flew to Hawaii this week, another to Florida. Me? I’m staying put (but seeking professional help). Thanks to some of doodler Andre Jordan’s greatest hits on the theme of gardeners in winter, I’m also smiling.

thesnowmenyouhaveknownTruth be told, with single-digit and below-zero nights, any resident snowmen are doing just fine. It’s the gardener who is ready for treatment about now.

Lesspretty“Not again” is right, but it’s not how the snow looks. It’s what it weighs. Shoveling three times a day, as was needed yesterday, makes my wonky right shoulder angry–the same shoulder I want to have in prime shape for when it all melts, and I get to rake and rake and rake instead. And then mow and mow and mow, and weed and weed and weed.

You know: when gardening season returns. It will return. It will.

How are you all faring in your personal winter wonderlands?

  1. Choral Eddie says:

    Having returned from a 3 week safari photo shoot in Africa, I came down with the flu (no, not Ebola) and pneumonia. Of course, in between, was the constant shoveling of snow and then my car broke down on the Mass turnpike with a transmission problem. Just feeding the birds, which have increased with the latest snow falls, and what wildlife is out there, gives me pause. I should have gone to Africa in Jan. rather than last Dec., and I have yet to open a seed catalogue.

  2. Michelle Robinson says:

    I turn to indoor gardening to preserve my sanity, Margaret. Recently potted up some hyacinths that I kept in the crawl space since last fall. Will probably go through my seed stash this week to mix things up a bit. Oh and watching British garden shows like The Big Allotment Challenge also helps

  3. Emily says:

    Itching my garden itch with Winter sowing seeds like they teach at Wintersown.org, what a great thing! They offer free seeds with a SASE.

  4. Shelley says:

    I do SO well with the first and second major snowfalls, especially after all the fall leaf cleanup we do…. when the 3rd and 4th major snowstorms hit, i am one of those in need of Andre’s Shelter for Lost Gardeners, peering out the windows looking for any signs that i should get out my spring muck boots, flipping aimlessly through old gardening magazines and new seed catalogs for the umpteen time. For the shortest month of the year, February is certainly my longest when mother nature acts like this!

  5. rachel says:

    In bewteen storms, I find comfort and survival in looking at my detailed garden journals and photographs of previous gardens and yard projects. And then I start planning and dreaming of all the things I’d like to do differently this year. Buried in Maine…

    1. margaret says:

      Good ideas, Rachel, and probably leads to smarter choices when looking at catalogs and shopping for seeds/plants. Nice to hear from you.

  6. margaret says:

    I am already laughing in solidarity with all your answers, thank you. I, too, seem to be unable to complete any seed orders…obsessed with the birds and feeders (how is it that they eat so much?, especially slabs of beef suet from the butcher; must go get more AGAIN)…grooming the houseplants…

    Glad that I am not alone.

  7. Michelle says:

    Also nursing a right shoulder torn from too vigorous raking and shoveling 4 years ago. Created 6 container gardens and caring for plants brought in last fall (all looking pretty good). Bulbs in pots in the basement. Now what? Look at catalogs and magazines – again.

  8. Karin says:

    I go in my cellar, put on a heat lamp, close my eyes and stick my hands in a bag of potting soil.(jk) I also watch The Big Alllotment Challenge and highlight too many seeds in garden catalogs.

  9. Tibs says:

    I bake. I cook comfort food. I do not pack on the pounds because of all the shoveling. Snow can be good! My birds are not visiting too much. We have a red tail that has taken up residence. I yell at him to eat the squirrels only but he doesn’t listen.

    1. suza joy says:

      If ONLY a hawk would show up here to at least chase away (if not gobble) my Albert greedy squirrel…have tried everything else to curb latter’s voracious appetite…

  10. Margit Van Schaick says:

    This appears to be “The Winter of Perpetual Vortexes” here in Southern Vermont. I’m concerned about the stray/ feral cats that are looking for food and shelter. Reading seed catalogs—thank you, again, for those wonderful interviews you’ve been doing. Going to sleep dreaming about gardens I plan to create!

  11. Margit Van Schaick says:

    P.S. I have a recommendation—would love to see you interview Carol Deppe. She just published a new gardening book. I loved her “The resilient Gardener”!

  12. Stop whining you all! Enjoy the gifts of the season – as in how the snow sculpts the garden into something new. And it is GOOD for the earth. Without it our gardens would not be nearly so beautiful. I KNOW because here in Philadelphia we have had winters with very little snow and the difference in the spring, summer, and fall gardens is very clear. So cook, read, knit etc. until we can be in our gardens again.

    1. margaret says:

      I love all precipitation, too, Lucretia, and am grateful to live in a region that still had adequate moisture in an ever-drier world. But complaining (and giggling) about the weather seems like a regular pastime of all the gardeners I know — in every season. :) (You know: like how we can always blame it for every crop that fails!)

  13. Gayle Jamison says:

    Our best winter purchase has been the SnoBoss, a big yellow snow shovel that you push through the snow to the end of the walk/path/driveway. It’s lifting that hurts my back and shoulders. I found it online but bought it locally.

  14. Dianne says:

    Here in west Tennessee we’ve yet to get a snowfall and wish you could share some with us. Temps in the mid 20’s last night and snow predicted, but alas, none this morning. My covered raised bed still has lettuce, carrots and beets growing. I have cabbage, lettuce, kale, endive and mustard seedlings happy under grow lights, but still hope we get one good snow before it’s time to plant them out. I agree with the previous writer about Carol Deppe!!

  15. Ruth says:

    Ordered seeds as FEDCO order had to be in Co-op end of Jan. Seeds from Johnny’s already arrived, but have no interest in playing in dirt -yet.
    I use winter to play with color. My sewing machine sits in front of a window with a beautiful view of snowy hill. Crab apple is in foreground. Watching the birds, hopefully the bared owl, is relaxing. I create colorful small quilts and experiment learning new sewing/quilting techniques.

  16. BarbV says:

    For those of you with voracious squirrels, I highly recommend the Brome Squirrel Buster feeder. My squirrels still occasionally still try, but are unable to get the seed from this feeder. I’ve had it for 7 or 8 years and it really works (and we have a LOT of squirrels). Brome is a fabulous manufacturer and provides free replacement parts to my local bird store, which will replace any part for me for free.

      1. Linda hall says:

        Couldn’t edit my reply, above. I meant to say: Tahoe has aggressive squirrels , so I hope that feeder will be the solution!

  17. Martha says:

    We’re expecting another foot or more of snow from Saturday to Tuesday next week, according to the latest computer models. Think Scheepers has any more paperwhite bulbs in stock??

    1. margaret says:

      Good idea, Martha. Forced bulbs galore. A friend gave me a cut spray of orchid flowers the other day, and I have to say it’s nice to have it in here with me. Cheerful.

  18. sfs says:

    This winter here in SWMissouri has been odd: we had a dusting of snow last night, and awoke to a frigid 10 this morning, but are expecting 70-degree temperatures by Saturday. I missed the one decent snowfall they had here while I visited back East (and left there just before the blizzard YEAH!). We’ve had plenty of warm-enough days to let me venture forth to clear out pockets of multi-flora rose and locust trees, clean up downed limbs, prune a bit, and create a few woodland planting areas (to be given residents when the warmth is here to stay), plus I’ve enlarged the veg garden and hauled many a bucket of manure to it. On the too-icky days, I try to hang out in the plant room (a.k.a., the living room during more reasonable weather), breathe in the wonderful scent of tea olive blossoms and Confederate jasmine, and cheer when the plumbago, hibiscus, and gerbera daisy bloom. Plus, I’m training my 3-month old puppy. :-)

  19. Anne hoctor says:

    Not all your fans are snowbound, I live in Lake Worth, Florida and just this year started gardening. At this point I have more collard greens, lettuce and broccoli then I know what to do with, I have found that gardening is wonderful no matter where you live, sand and all!

  20. Anna says:

    Here in Southern California we’re having a pretty mild winter (please don’t be too mad at us..) so my children are watching the peas climb, strawberries flower and the sunflower seeds sprout.. but with all the talk about squirrels, do they dig up pea plants in planter beds? or could it be crows? something is digging around at night (i presume) clipping off the tops of the pea shoots and leaving a mess in and around the planter beds…

  21. Linda says:

    Here in northern New Mexico, we’ve had snow over the last 2 weeks! It couldn’t be better timed for our earth is in dire need of continued moisture. Fortunately, our area has an ancient ditch irrigation system which we treasure and which usually nourishes our gardens throughout the summer (If there is enough moisture in the high country).

    1. margaret says:

      I was so happy to read of your NM snow, Linda, since any moisture is a good thing there in the terrible dry time. Happy for you, and thank you for saying hello.

  22. Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says:

    We have mercifully less snow this time than the hideous winter of one year ago during which I chipped ice for NINETEEN DAYS STRAIGHT because the temps just would not rise. I am preparing to work on my giant seed collection shortly, collating and filing all the bags-full collected during fall 2014 and deciding which ones will be winter-sown outside in jugs, which to start early inside and which to toss around outside after the snow blanket disappears. I am actively resisting the floriferous pages of the garden company catalogs which are stacking up.

  23. Heidi says:

    These doodles hit home. Being from Florida originally, I always find winter and snow exciting and new. But these last 2 winters in SE PA are starting to wear just a little. I still love those sunny blue sky days in winter, with trees outlined in snow and the white crispness to the snow covered scenery. I love discovering those normally hidden details to the landscape, like seeing a snow covered undulating hill up ahead through a forest that I had never noticed before.

    1. margaret says:

      “Wear just a little.” I hear you, Heidi. I will admit more often than not I just throw in the towel and hibernate — I really don’t even bother trying to make plans and mostly putter away. :)

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