folded rhody Gail and I need a little more time to gather thoughts before I dive into posts about the decade’s best plants. Because I ventured outside on some of the chilliest days to grab at pictures with my mittens on, I’ll give those to you today instead. You might want to make a cup of tea and put on your thickest sweater before looking…

Display Garden 12-31-09bittersweet bay viewmansion view through the snow 12-31-09snowy pond 12-31-09

Even though I’ve never considered this my favorite season, I have realized that I am very grateful to live in a climate that has a true winter. I need a real break from the garden to recharge my brain and body. – And if it was warm enough to work outside I would have trouble staying in.

wind whipped bay 12-30-09A month or two ago I couldn’t really imagine having any fresh ideas for these gardens or even my own (which I think about constantly even while I’m at work). I was fried. But after only a couple of weeks of intensive indoor regrouping, I have enough thoughts in my head that if I don’t write them down they’re likely to be pushed off the shelf by the next thing. I definitely need help to kick-start the idea process. Before allowing ourselves even a glance at seed catalogs, Gail and I always take a look through the year’s gardening magazines, which we hadn’t yet given ourselves time to read, and we pull out the ancient back issues too along with our favorite books. – Because everything old is new again. And of course I am catching up on blog reading. Amazingly, it doesn’t take much for the ideas to start germinating. A plant suggestion here, a photo there and I’m already completely jazzed to get back in the garden.

Do you take a winter intermission too? Self or climate imposed? Where do you find the seeds for your ideas?

7 thoughts on “(W)intermission

  1. Isn’t it fun trying to take pictures while wearing mittens? It’s so worth it though.
    I also like the climate enforced break from gardening. I get ideas from so many sources, other gardens I’ve visited, books, magazines, blogs.

    MMD, Enjoy the break and may you be all kinds of inspired! -kris

  2. Hi Kris,

    Best wishes for the new year and I hope all of your garden dreams come true.

    Winter is okay for the first couple of weeks then I start to really not like it. Being stuck in the house is the worst thing. We take off from Dec. 15 to about March 1st every year. You would think I was used to it by now but it is still boring and tiresome.

    This season did turn into a bit of grind and seemed extra long and I am happy it is over. This winter is turning out to be no joke here in Connecticut and I will be worrying about the gardens if it keeps up. I have high hopes next year will be better.

    I haven’t really made any garden plans yet but will get started when I get back from Hawaii. Aloha.

    D.F. – Thank you! I’m very envious of your trip to Hawaii. If that doesn’t recharge the battery, I’m not sure what would. And don’t worry about your gardens while you’re there – they’ll be snug as a bug under the snow. Aloha! -kris

  3. I love winter, although, maybe it’s just my Scandinavian blood talking. I’d rather be cold than hot and parched. And, the arborist gives me a discount since business is slow. I like to stomp around in the snow outside to admire the subtle palette and the quiet. Maybe that quiet is really the reason why I love winter – fewer distractions means more quiet thinking time.

    Susan, You make winter seem like the best season ever. Maybe if the wind would quit blowing so loudly and bitterly, I’d love the quiet of winter more. -kris

  4. I feel as you do Kris. I need the winter to recharge a bit. Inspiration comes to me in revisiting gardens I saw in the past year, publications, and the bloggers are a great group also for ideas. I must have those ‘Hairy Balls’ this year. I think I will refine the gardens this year. Lots of dividing, improving soil and adding a few new items. As yet unknown. Keep warm.

    Layanee, I love that you mentioned refining the gardens and planting ‘Hairy Balls’ in almost the same breath! Perfect! I think you should stop by here too, if you ever can, for a little idea sharing session… -kris

  5. This winter I am having a hard time getting excited; the last two years in this new house I have been totally engrossed in planning and planting and ordering and designing, only to have the whole thing eaten by deer. This fall I broke down and installed a fence, and so I should be raring to go–but I’m still jaded. Maybe when those first days of January thaw hit, I’ll be into it.

    Liz, Deer are the rudest of neighbors and their destruction of your new garden must have been so demoralizing. Good for you for persevering. I think your situation calls for intensive inspiration therapy – visit a greenhouse (are you close by here?), check every gardening book out of the library, borrow all the magazine back issues and try full immersion! And keep us posted. Thanks for chiming in! -kris

  6. There’s a bit of a quiet period in high summer as it’s really too hot to do anything beyond the necessary tasks (like tying up tomatoes), but it’s usually filled with beach-going and so on. Winter isn’t as complete a break as yours, but fewwer things can be planted then. Sometimes I think a break would be nice, but then… we don’t have SAD over here.

    Chookie, It’s so hard to imagine the height of summer – and beach-going – right now! But just knowing that elsewhere in the world the sun is shining and warm can help the SAD a little (by proxy?). Here the sun is also shining brightly (extra brightly maybe because of the snow) today and that helps too. -kris

  7. I’m in wintermission, too, letting the ideas percolate slowly in. The early 2010 snow was so beautiful and fluffy, and we got to play in it enough, that it didn’t feel like temporary forced garden retirement. Haven’t even really tried to photograph any of it. Just soaking it in.

    Lynn, we’re having a January thaw Smell-the-Earth Day here – it’s percolating audibly! And so are our ideas… I would think that when your work is your photography, you might need to take mini-breaks from it from time to time too. -kris

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