With winter creeping this way, have you considered why you garden? Winter is a time of rest, renewal and review. Why do we shovel load after load of manure and leaf mold? Why do we keep trying to grow a particular plant even when it would be much easier to throw in the trowel? After all, much of the world’s population never even sticks its hands into the local dirt, while others garden no matter where they live. Think of balcony container gardens, green walls and green roofs. Even city life can’t keep true gardeners down.
While you’re thinking on this, my friend, Mary Ann of Idaho Gardener fame, is holding a little contest over at her place on why you garden. She assures me the prizes are splendid, so why not join in the fun?
Why do I garden?
The question brings a smile to my face. You might as well ask me why I breathe. Growing things is as much a part of me as eating, sleeping and writing, and I don’t know how I could live without any of these. A long standing joke with my best friend, Aimee, is about my worst nightmare. When I am old and grizzled, and no longer able to turn a spade full of the good earth (God forbid), the nursing home staff will wheel me into the rec room and plant me in front of the TV. The only thing playing will either be a real estate show (think Flip this House), or one of those horrid, HGTV remodel specials. HH and I spent six years of our lives expanding our house and remodeling (doing most of the work ourselves). ‘Nuff said.
However, if I’m very lucky, instead, there will be reruns of A Gardener’s Diary with Erica Glasener looking as beautiful as she does here. As my teenagers say, with that I could “deal.”
All kidding aside, winter is on its way, and even in Oklahoma, gray trees and brown grass seem a bit like one long rerun. That’s why I have five different Amaryllis going right now: ‘Red Lion‘, ‘Royal Velvet‘, ‘Charisma‘, ‘White Christmas‘ and ‘Elvas’ are just starting to show a bit of green. If you decide to plant some Amaryllis of your own, remember to plant them shallow in their containers. They don’t need much soil because their energy is stored up in the bulb. Don’t cover more than half of the bulb with potting mix, and water very little, or they might rot. Otherwise, amaryllis are foolproof and offer a lot of bang for the buck. I found all of mine locally at TLC nursery, Lowe’s and Precure nursery. In the garage refrigerator, I also have double hyacinths and some daffodils doing the big chill. They need at least six to eight weeks of cool weather to trick them into bloom, and in Oklahoma’s crazy weather, the garage may not be cool enough. I started a bit late on these, but I figure they will be pretty once the amaryllis have faded. I’m planning on putting them on top of rocks for forcing or using a beautiful, cobalt, blue, bulb-forcing vase I bought on ebay.
This is how I make it through the winter when the days are cloudy with a chance of rain, and with color like this, I only dream sweet, sweet tidings of spring.