Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cold gardener - old friends

Your optimistic gardener has turned into a cold one. Nothing odd or very interesting about that, but it is inconvenient. At times like this I prefer to snuggle up in an armchair, with a plaid and a large (make that a huge one please waiter...) cup of coffee. And a bunch of old gardening magazines. Yes, old ones. The new magazines should be read when the mind is crystal clear. Listening to every nuance, every shift in tone. Trigging the 'must have' feeling with lush images of fantastic plantings. Starting new chains of thought by featured gardens. All this is very well, when you are well.

When you got a cold or otherwise feel a bit run over by a steamroller, new magazines don't do the trick. What you need then are old friends. Even if you haven't read this very issue for several years the feeling when you take out a bunch of old magazines is a feeling of comfort. You are amongst friends. You can breeze swiftly through articles of no interest for you without having the feeling you need to read it (you already have read it, when the magazine was new), look at the pictures, indulge yourself to articles regarding topics you know you'll never ever transform into reality - like growing vegetables if you are a convinced carnivore or bog gardening if you live in the middle of the desert. Reading old gardening magazines is free from any pressure.

Well, in the perfect world there is where I should be. In an old and comfortable armchair, reading old magazines. But, as you all know, we have to stick to the world we've got and I had to get up, get dressed and get to the office. There is work to be done, cold or not. So half my brain is trying to think intelligent thoughts while the other half is whispering things like 'go home, go to bed, read old gardening magazines'. Got a nasty feeling that sense of duty will win this battle too, as it always does.

But, even this grey November day has its sparks of light. My Impatiens hawkeri is flowering. It is a potted plant of course, has to be in my zone, and lives its life on the windowsill. I bought it years ago when I moved into my new office. It flowered and flowered for a very long time. When it stopped flowering most people I know would throw it away, but I couldn't do that. It was a healthy plant and I am a real wimp when it comes to killing something that is alive. So it went on living on the windowsill. I have thought it to be dead many times. Went on holiday and found it all dry and hay like when I returned. In a desperate attempt to see if it had any spark of life left I watered it - and wow, the stems rose and the plant just continued to live. Can you but love such a plant? We have a personal relation now, my Impatiens and me. Perhaps that is why today it flowers again. Six bright pink flowers brighten up the grey November morning and going to the office was all worth it.


Takoma Gardener said...

No explanation, but what do you do with your free time in the winter? You must have a substitute passion. And getting outside as much as possible, despite the weather? I know I do but I live in a fairly mind climate - zone 7. Do U.S. zones equate with something in Sweden? Here it means the average lowest temp is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I think.

Linn said...

In the winter I read a lot, try to arrange my thousands of photographs and talk to other gardeners. As well as making new plans for next season of course.

I live in a zone that roughly corresponds to U.S. zone 5.