One of the blogs in my "top 5" list is Jean's Knitting. Even if you aren't a knitter I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy reading her posts. Jean lives in Scotland and writes about her daily life, which is divided between her urban residence in Edinburgh and rural residence in Strathardle. Jean's command of the English language is something to be admired, and her day-to-day descriptions make me want to drop by her home for a spot of tea. In fact, her influence has been so great that if this fall's trip to Europe works out as planned, a detour to explore and hike around Strathardle is definitely going to be on the itinerary.
Jean's blog post today was about her recent time in Strathardle and her foray into what is largely still a frozen garden space. As soon as I saw the picture of her February harvest of Jerusalem artichokes I was hooked. As Jean said:
"Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes one feel so much like a Real Gardener as bringing something in to the kitchen in February, from the snow."
I agree. Which is why several hours were spent this morning combing through seed catalogs and researching on the internet. A year from now I, too, want to be heading out to my garden to harvest these gems. I want to be a Real Gardener. Plus I am convinced the cold, dark days of January would pass by much more quickly if only I knew I had my garden to look forward to in February!
The expression that "hope springs eternal" is especially true for a gardener impatiently waiting for the final days of winter to pass by. The hope that February offers a gardener has not yet been dashed by the reality of mid-summer. The shock of pulling back the leaves of what was supposed to be a Brussels sprouts plant and finding myself staring at a huge head of cauliflower has now become a fond memory. And I have forgiven the birds that ate my fall planting of kale. As a gardener one is always sure that next year's garden will surpass all those that have come before. Never mind that this is how things looked this morning.
My gardener's optimistic soul knows that warmer days and better gardens are just around the corner.
"O, wind, if winter comes can spring be far behind?" Percy Bysshe Shelley