Winter Garden Dreams


That’s the best word (if it’s even a word) I can come up with to describe the view from my home office window at this very moment.  As what little light we had today fades behind a gauzy curtain of drizzle, the world grows grayer and darker and wetter.  Just visible through the drippy murk:  Wet horse, wet sheep, wet ducks (my wise chickens are sheltering in their coop), wet fir trees, wet grass, wet…well, you get the picture.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), “bleh” is also the best way to describe my mood at present.

I know, I know–I really shouldn’t get all SAD-ish about clouds and rain when so many people are suffering through snow and ice and sub-zero polar vortexes.  Actually, our winter here in western Washington hasn’t been all that terrible  (knocking on wood now), and we’ve had an astounding number of sun breaks (for us).  In fact, just this past weekend my husband and I were geocaching along a sparkling blue river beneath a brilliant blue sky, and saw a bald eagle perched in a tree, his white head flashing in the sunlight…

OK, right, recalling this bright and lovely image only makes today’s gloom feel even worse.  As do the memories of our recent winter escape to Tucson, Arizona, one of the sunniest places on Earth.  The locals may have been wearing sweatshirts and sweaters because it was “winter,” but to us anything over 65 is summer:  donning sunscreen, sunglasses, and T-shirts we hit the sunny desert trails for some sun-shiny hiking past sun-blasted boulders and vibrant green saguaros with their arms uplifted in sun-worship.  So, did I mention it was sunny, like, the ENTIRE week?

And then we returned home to winter again, to days like this.  Can you blame me for feeling like hibernation would be the best option right now?

Fortunately, in the midst of all this bleh-ness, my groggy gaze settles on a catalog resting by the phone.  Suddenly I’m falling into a rainbow–a riot of color as bean pods and beans tumble across the cover.  Perking up, I shuffle through the pages, past vividly-hued heirloom vegetables and flowers:  beets and carrots, collards and corn, peppers and lettuce, sunflowers and nasturtiums.  It seems I’ve been saved from the winter blues by the 2014 Seed Savers Exchange catalog (check out  Now I’m dreaming of springtime, which doesn’t seem so far away after all, and of my garden.  What will I plant this year?

Let’s see:  Scarlet Runner Beans, for sure, as my hummingbirds adore sipping from the dazzling blooms.  St. Valery Carrots, because they did awesomely last year in my raised beds.  Lush-leaved Vates Collards, which give me an excuse to fry up some bacon every once in awhile (such a scrumptious combo).  Hm, definitely a new heirloom lettuce to try…brilliant Red Velvet, perhaps, or spring green Gold Rush.  Should I try growing peppers and tomatoes from seeds again?  If so, the multi-hued, medium-hot Aurora Pepper looks yummy, and the shiny red Stupice tomato supposedly does well in northern climes.  Kale and Swiss chard, mustard greens and spinach, potatoes and pumpkins and, of course, zucchini…I’ll have to go through my seed stash to see what’s left, and which ones I need to order…

As my list and my garden dreams grow, the world seems a warmer, brighter place. DSC_0083

Had any good garden dreams lately?

Thanks for reading!




  1. Cooking up some nice spicy fragrant food might help, too. It’s always nice to come into a kitchen where someone’s been sauteing up some aromatics, right? Good luck with the winter gloom!

    1. Good idea, Lori! Hm, spicy chili sounds good right now…

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