When the first snowflake falls and we put classic white lights on our porch to celebrate the holidays, we retreat into our home to light fires, watch movies, and huddle under warm blankets. It is a peaceful and child-like time of year full of traditions such as hot cocoa, family, and big goofy boots. Even in the cold, winter can be a season of warmth and beauty.
Then all of a sudden, New Year’s celebrations are over, vacation time comes to an end, and–particularly sadly–we have to take the last connection to nature away: our Christmas tree. That tree keeps me going. The memories each ornament holds, the arguments the cats have regarding who gets to lay underneath, the soft glow of the lights, and the beautiful and graceful needles and limbs that release a forest smell into the house. When the tree goes out to the curb on the compost pick-up day, I feel a little haze of depression set in. Suddenly the snow seems dirty, the sky seems gray, and I start to ache for sunshine on my skin.
Around the 2nd week of January, something amazing happens. I get a Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog in the mail and suddenly I can picture calendula in bloom and plump little cucumbers on the vine. Most people attribute warm weather to the beach, shorts, and vacation. I dream of dirty gardening gloves, butterfly bushes, and fresh parsley.
Each year I try all sorts of new ideas to get through the long winter season, from forcing bulbs to rooting houseplant cuttings. This year, my Aerogarden is most definitely helping. The cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, dill, and mint are growing like weeds and it is making me giddy. I promised to update as they grow and here they are after just a few weeks, really.
When that Johnny’s catalog arrived, I felt hope. I’m already making lists of what I’ll plant this year from pickling cucumbers to various shades of delphinium. My spirit is already lifting. Thank you, Johnny’s!