Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

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


  1. You must fill me in on this upcoming trip to Europe that I haven't heard about.

  2. I want to be a Real Gardener, too. I just somehow want to achieve it with no effort, work, or personal cost. I know that's bad :-(. {Looks sadly at hands covered in holly scars. My garden keeps fighting back!}.

  3. That's the joy of being a gardener ... there's always next season :)

  4. @Maureen- details next time we meet at Starbucks!

    @Susie- Ha! This is why gardening in February is ideal. At this point it is all "cultivated" in the mind. No work involved other than daydreaming. :-)

    @kate- Absolutely. I think someone should do a scientific study with gardeners as the subject. I am sure the percentage of optimists who garden has to be higher than the general population.

  5. Oooo, Strahardle looks interesting, but first, Edinburgh!

    You make great use of the space in your garden. I like that--hopefully less room for weeds. =)

  6. @Ric- Weeds are my enemy. I have been to Edinburgh once before. It's lovely, but Strathardle would be all new territory.

  7. Spring - that seems suddenly not so very far away.

  8. One thing I miss from my "old life" is havinga garden. Sometimes I miss it so much I could cry.

  9. @Harpa - I think we might be a bit closer to spring here in Canada than you are in Iceland!

    @peony - I am so sorry you no longer have a garden. Do you have a space where you can do some container gardening?