By in Gardening

Getting Into Gardening Can Help Get You Through Winter

Many years ago whilst still living in the UK I got into gardening in a big way. I studied gardening at night school and then later as a distance learner when I took up the challenge to complete an RHS horticultural course. I also volunteered time at a local nursery to learn about growing plants on a big scale. To say gardening had me hooked was an understatement.

In my last garden in the UK I had a tiny greenhouse, just 6x4 feet, but with shelving fitted I had plenty of room to sow seed in the autumn to produce perennials for the coming year. In those days I bought my seed mail order from a nursery which also had open gardens and was situated in Devon UK. The nursery is called plant world and they send out a yearly seed catalogue to anyone interested in buying rare seed.

During summertime , I took the shelving out of my tiny greenhouse and grew peppers and tomatoes in it.

Of course, making an autumn sowing in the UK means that care has to be taken over winter to ensure frost doesn´t kill your emerging green babies, but going down the garden to tuck my seedlings in and also check the small paraffin heater was still lit did get me outside in the fresh sometimes frigid air, and even this gave me a bit of a lift in the winter months.

Looking through seed catalogs in the depth of a British winter and dreaming of plans for my garden in the following summer also filled me with delight, and made winter feel not so bad and easier to get through.

I made sure I had plenty of seasonal interest in my garden, and this included Helibore plants placed in front of the living room window which often flowered even when covered in snow. Shrubs that produced red berries, evergreen shrubs and conifers, and of course a whole range of spring flowering bulbs. I did yearn for a twisted willow, but didn´t have the right spot to place one where I could see its bare and twisted branches from the house in the winter.

I´ll never forget one winter when we had a huge snowfall at Christmas, this later started to thaw, but then iced over and remained this way for what seemed an age. When eventually a thaw set in and the frozen snow was beginning at last to disappear I wrapped up well and went for a walk around my garden. There underneath the snow I spied shoots from a Peony pushing through the soil. The joy that gave me was unbelievable, how could such a delicate and beautiful plant have survived all that freezing cold ?

I know there will be many here on PP who enjoy nature / gardening and will know exactly how much can be looked forward to even in the depths of winter. For those of you who don´t garden, then at least keep your eyes open when out and about and look for the first signs of spring in your neighbourhood.

I hope you can experience the feeling of excitement that I get when I see the first signs of a tree coming into bud, or the shoots of a crocus pushing through snow or any of the wonders of late winter in the garden or neighbourhood, which herald the coming of spring.



Image Credit for banner photograph my own.

Image credit for others :- Crocus in snow. CC0 Public Domain

Iced berries. License: CC0 Public Domain

Image Credit » My Own

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morilla wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:26 AM

I have done much 'gardening' in years. Being single and 'busy,' it's difficult to commit to what it takes in terms of being 'tied down.' I have been considering a 'bucket garden' in winter; but, that hasn't gotten very far yet.

maxeen wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:36 AM

That was very interesting,sometimes it feels as though one is alone in the world when caught up in the garden work.

bestwriter wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:38 AM

I too am amazed how this growth survives under ice and then springs, when spring presents itself.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:45 AM

It certainly does. Gardening got me through many a bad patch of nerves and mild depression too.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:46 AM

Seeing those peony shoots emerging was such an uplifting experience for me, as peonies are really delicate looking plants.

shiela32 wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:55 AM

My grandmother loves gardening. I wish I have the same passion like her.

Koalemos wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:56 AM

I must have mentioned before how much I hate gardening Anne. A garden can look quite attractive, but it is also seriously hard work.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 23, 2015, 9:22 AM

It really is Barry, but a lot depends on planning and what you plant. My next garden will be low maintenance for sure.

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 23, 2015, 9:41 AM

I like to garden too but do not have a greenhouse to get an early start with. Maybe in the next couple of years

CoralLevang wrote on February 23, 2015, 10:26 AM

I love seeing the new crocuses/croci?? LOL burst their tiny little heads up through the cold soil. I am not a gardener, however. But it excites me, just the same.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:03 AM

I really enjoyed having mine and it allowed me to grow toms and peppers too as well as flowering plants.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:04 AM

Seeing those this really lets you know spring is on the way, and that´s a huge boost to the spirit after a long cold and dark winter.

grandma20121 wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:16 AM

i can relate to your love for gardening, i too love gardening, i love all kinds of flowers and plants and i look forward to seeing the first blooms after winter

GemstonePink wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:53 AM

I am waiting desperately for spring to arrive. The colors that burst forth in my gardens are so good for my soul.

crowntower wrote on February 23, 2015, 12:24 PM

Wow your planted plants has iced! That super cold! I think my mom will love to talk to you about gardening, and she really dream to have a small green house at the back of our future dream own house. Lol! God bless.

SLGarcia wrote on February 23, 2015, 4:01 PM

Gardening is something I have yet to learn, but I'm hoping to give it a try this spring and summer.

valmnz wrote on February 23, 2015, 5:46 PM

I've just discovered the delights of gardening and seem to spend most of my time fighting weeds! You'll no doubt be looking for a place with a garden when you return to the UK?

Dragonfairy1 wrote on February 23, 2015, 7:39 PM

I'm guilty of abandoning my garden in the winter, maybe I should visit it more.

lookatdesktop wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:04 PM

I really love your article and the pictures are very nice.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:06 AM

Seeing things coming back to life is really what grabs me and fills me with excitement.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:07 AM

Keep looking for the first signs of life, the smallest bud is enough to let you know spring is on the way.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:08 AM

When I first gave it a go I was really scared of getting it wrong and everything dying on me, but have no fears, plants are very forgiving.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:10 AM

Actually, no I won´t. I´m looking for a small house with just a back yard which I can turn into a low maintenance courtyard garden. I no longer have the strong back or energy to keep up with a large plot.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:12 AM

There´s nothing that can be done in the garden during the winter so don´t feel bad. Do go and have a look at what might be starting to come through the soil or bud though, this will give you such a lift as you will know spring is on its way.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:13 AM

Being out in the fresh air is good for us all, a real stress buster.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:14 AM

Thank you so very much. Only one of the pic´s is mine, the others came from Pixabay but I managed to find just what I was hoping for.

Coffee wrote on February 24, 2015, 6:37 AM

I'm afraid I have always been useless at gardening.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 24, 2015, 6:47 AM

You might surprise yourself if you learn a few basics. Asking the neighbours with nice gardens could help you a lot.

cheri wrote on February 24, 2015, 8:12 PM

I wish I can do gardening in my area but its a city where homes are apartment-type built leaving you no area for gardening.

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 25, 2015, 5:12 AM

Oh, that is a shame, don´t you even have a balcony you could garden on ?

LadyLeaf wrote on April 4, 2015, 8:53 AM

I live in an apartment and can only grow indoors in containers. I used to have a black thumb, but I guess over time, trying again and again, I learned a few things. I grew a garlic chives plant from seed that lived for about 6 months!

Hollyhocks100 wrote on April 4, 2015, 10:57 AM

Even inside, it´s possible to be a good gardener, well done you for your garlic chives, I love that in salads.