Winter Gardening (part one)

It’s cold.

In fact, our entire little town is totally shut down. Even the schools are closed. It’s a perfect day for winter gardening!

Winter gardening is unique in itself. I try to keep my mind in the season, enjoying the tasks that make my garden healthier. Winter gardening is a chance to bring back balance from weeds, a chance to edge,, a chance to focus on soil health, and a chance to focus on the little things that matter.

Winter is a time of rest. Many plants are sleeping under the earth.

Winter is also a time to prepare for things to come.

A time to be diligent and focus on garden health.

Mulch and compost is always greatly welcomed. A nice layer of protection will keep the ground warmer from a deep freeze.  Mulch will also protect many ‘tender perennials’. I lost all but 4 heirloom dwarf Crinum in 2014. I have lovingly nursed them back to health. I now make sure to mulch heavily. A hard freeze will not catch my garden by surprise again!

Another aspect of winter gardening is weeding. Weeds slow down in Winter months. If you live in the south, you will understand the complete hatred of Bermuda grass in the garden. I once Googled how to rid a garden of Bermuda……I found a few cuss words, and a description of digging down to Hades. Ha! Bermuda is almost impossible to get rid of in the summer months. The only time to go into  battle with Bermuda is during Winter. Bermuda is dormant. Fight hard, my friends. Dig deep and rid the garden of any trace of Bermuda. Your Spring garden will thank you.

Edging is also an important Winter gardening. After one has a beautiful garden, the last thing we want are unwanted weed runners. I recently have discovered cinder blocks. It is one of the few things I have found that will keep Bermuda from spreading it’s disgusting runners into my bulbs. I spend a lot of my winter time digging and preparing my garden edges.

Many plants in the winter garden delight in a nice breath of fresh air. It is time for separation and division of bulbs and perennials. I always check the weather before plant division. If I have a week of nice weather, I’m digging up plants and dividing bulbs.

One of my favorite things to do in my garden is what my family calls ‘surveying’.  I survey my domain.

I look carefully at my plants.

I spend time in my garden.

I try to remember winter is a time of rest and rejuvenation.

I wait for my Narcissis to bloom and my Daffodils to show life. I watch for my new Spring bulbs to emerge and I watch for plants that need to be removed from a freeze. I enjoy watching the birds find berries and seeds.  I find the holes from the change of seasons, and decide what colors are missing.

I dream as I survey.

Winter Gardening is definitely a time for rest.

A time for patience.

A time for preparation.

A time for soul searching and appreciating.

A time to focus of plant health.

A time to look forward to the beautiful things to come.

It will be 29 degrees this weekend…..what will you be doing in your garden? 🙂