Today some blogging friends from The Garden Charmers are sharing their favourite winter comforts. From delicious food to creative handwork projects, we’ve got what you need to make winter a little warmer. See the bottom of this post for all of the project links.
But first, here’s mine:
The garden has gone dormant, the weather is wet and raw and it’s time for more inward pursuits. What’s a die-hard gardener to do with time on her hands? Not being much of a cold weather enthusiast, my winter months are usually spent indoors. But we have our winter comforts here at Our Fairfield Home and Garden. Let me tell you just a few of the activities that help me pass the time until spring once again returns.
Knitting and crocheting are perfect past-times for a person who is used to being busy all the time. Winter time is when I get started on the hats, scarves and lap throws that will become gifts during the holiday season. For years, many people didn’t seem to care for homemade gifts. But now that there is a resurgence in appreciation for artisan created goods, my little gifts are in high demand. Stockpile the yarn in summer when it is on sale and you’ll have more than enough to last all winter long! If you want to learn to knit or crochet, check out You-Tube for some wonderful tutorials.
For years, I have dreamed about taking an art class in watercolor painting. Finally, this year I retired from my teaching career and could sign up at Longwood Gardens for the Botanical Illustration class taught by my dear friend, Carol Gangemi. What a joy! I may be a complete neophyte, but am finding painting to be such a calming, inspirational hobby. If you can’t grow them, the next best thing is to paint them! I’m still immersed in flowers, just in a different way.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean I can give up gardening altogether for months at a time! Now is the time for forcing bulbs, caring for my houseplants in our garden room and watching for the hellebore blooms to emerge outside, the first harbingers of spring. This is the time of year when I’ll buy some flowers at the Farmer’s Market just to have some color and bloom on the table.
A more leisurely pace in the winter months affords me the chance to catch up on reading of all kinds. Especially new gardening books, as I reflect on gardens of the past and those to come. On my current reading list are Making the Most of Shade by Larry Hodgson, The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer by Stephanie Cohen & Nancy J. Ondra and the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew. Through these wonderful authors I’ll learn new gardening ideas and techniques as well as review the tried and true. Come February, I’ll also attend a series of gardening lectures at The Delaware Center for Horticulture. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to hear a renown local gardening author, David Culp, speak about “The Layered Garden” and hope to use some of his recommendations here in our garden soon.
Of course there’s nothing like a steaming mug of coffee, tea or cocoa and a little nosh on a chilly day. Even better, “Tea Time” can be taken while reading or relaxing by the fire! The challenge is not packing on pounds during this more sedentary time. I must have been a bear in a former life because winter makes me want to eat a lot and hibernate!
Time to bundle up and head outside for a little fresh air! Our Labrador Retrievers, Chelsea Sue and Sadie Anne, don’t mind the cold one bit and are always willing to head out for a walk around the neighborhood. They love meeting up with their dog buddies down the street and we get to catch up with a friend as we all stroll along together in the daily Labrador Parade.
My warm wool socks and fuzzy slippers are perfect for warming up by the fire after a brisk walk outside. Daydreaming by a crackling fire, there’s time to ponder, remember and think of my loved ones and compose a mental list of chores to do … tomorrow.
And, what in the world would I do without my computer during winter? Many hours each day are spent researching, writing on my blog, e-mailing and keeping in touch through social media (HomeTalk, Pinterest, FaceBook, G+). I am immensely fortunate to have “cyber friends” all over the globe who brighten my days with their creative projects and gardening ideas. What a wonderful world!
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