January 15, 2015


My garden has brought me a minor miracle, and I haven’t even started yet! You see, I have a teenaged son who is as temperamental and alienated as any teenager ever was. Much to my surprise, I returned from work to find him leafing through one of my garden catalogs. He’d picked out a number of seeds that he wanted to buy. (My son likes gardening? You have got to be kidding.)

Okay, his taste is… interesting. Only the darkest purple and red flowers will do. Regardless, I was both touched and delighted. I said, very casually (because kids will shy away if you get too eager), that he could come with me the next time I went to the garden store. Believe it or not, he did, and we spent about $15 on seeds for very dark red and purple flowers.

Will he go farther and actually plant the seeds? Only time will tell, but my garden gave me an unexpected moment of closeness in a very fraught relationship. Even while there’s still snow on the ground.


Gardening events in January? Well, no. But I have started researching the dates of my favorite plant sales and garden shows. Something else I can look forward to as the year goes on.


If this year follows a typical pattern, we’re close to the end of the really cold weather. Most years, it’s pipe-busting, birdbath-freezing cold between about Thanksgiving and the second week of January. This should be followed by a relative warm-up through mid-February. We’ll start to have daffodils come up within that time frame.

I’m also working on a shopping list for outdoor projects later in the year.


Due the aforementioned seed shopping, I did go ahead and start my first wave . These are all flowers that will be on my porch and in the south-facing beds when the soil warms up in early April. There’s milkweed for the butterflies, a white coneflower, Firecracker penstemon, Blue Victoria salvia which will be an annual in my climate, mixed California poppies, and some lobelia if I can get it to start.

Meanwhile, I already have garlic coming up outside because it stayed warm so long into December. Heck, we didn’t even have snow until the day after Christmas!

Let’s all look forward to warm days and dirt under our fingernails.


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