For the first time this Winter, we’re getting accumulating snow here on the coast. (I imagine my northern garden is laughing, having already had roughly 2 feet of snow since Halloween). I awoke in the middle of the night to a muffled quiet & glow coming in around the windows and knew immediately that this forecasted snow had indeed arrived. Sunrise revealed a peaceful Winter wonderland we haven’t seen (here) since last year. And with the snow, the Dark-Eyed Junco's have returned to the feeders! Unfortunately, as we approached mid-morning, the snow changed to sleet and we’ve been icing up since. The roads must be treacherous as folks never ride up & down our street slowly for any other reason, even when it’s flooded by the creek!
This wintry day is perfect for things like: A morning #gardenwalk (with camera in hand of course), watching birds huddle within the branches of the old Christmas tree freshly decorated with bird seed yesterday, a lunch of left-over chili & baking banana bread (I love a well stocked pantry & freezer!), some reading for bookclub next week, a little writing (obviously), maybe starting another scarf with that new pink yarn I picked up earlier in the week and, most of all, tackling that ever-growing stack of gardening catalogs.
Yes dear readers, it’s time! During breakfast, as I flipped page after page of stunning veggies, flowers and shrubs, I gasped & gasped, ear-marking pages and annoying my husband as he tried to read. (Heehee!) Every year I am utterly swept away by the images!
This is what I call my ‘love at first sight’ phase when it comes to a new season of gardening catalogs. I fall in love over and over again with the turn of each page. (How can you not?!) I go through them all in one shot to get it out of my system and so I can organize them into categories (seeds, veggies, roses, bulbs, combo catalogs that offer seeds & plants, etc.). Once I’ve had some distance and the infatuation begins to fade, I start with one category and go through the catalogs, re-visiting the pages I ear-marked to see if those same items still make my heart race. If they do, I write them down on a list that I’ll review again before making any orders at the beginning of February. (I give myself a gardening budget each year and do my best to stay within it).
I don’t often order plants for delivery anymore after some bad experiences several years ago but I do order seeds every year. Plus, with my migraines, scent is a big issue for me and one careful sniff can tell me ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on something I’m considering whereas a brief description isn’t going to do that for me! Catalogs that offer plants become invaluable sources of inspiration & information and accompany me during my frequent visits to local nurseries early in the season. (One nursery, in particular, has an incredible selection and has yet to disappoint when I’m looking for something I’ve seen in a catalog, magazine or online).
I confess I’ve saved the Rose catalogs for last today! Those I’m unable to go through as quickly. Captivated by their beauty, I linger on each page, dreaming of where each one would go in my garden and imagining their scents on a humid day. Roses just may be the love of my gardening life! So now I’m going to settle down with them and a slice of banana bread, still warm from the oven, while Hubbs naps on the couch, tired from fighting with the snowblower this morning. From my seat by the livingroom window, I see things are continuing to freeze up outside. But, inside, gardening hopes & dreams keep me warm. I hope you’re all enjoying your Saturday, no matter the weather!
Be sure to check #gardenwalk and Diggin’ Around for today’s snowy photos!
NJ Zones 7a & 6
New Jersey Through My Eyes