Skip to main content

February 16, 2024

A Gardener’s Musings in Winter


Fallow ground rests below earth-toned rocks,
bare, brown hydrangea branches stretch tall,
a few hearty geranium leaves cling to woody stems,
the bluebird box is vacant,
only the greens of paddle cacti and elephant ears,
the passing shadows of brown house sparrows,
mock the cold, the wind that lifts sand, an abrasive shiver.

It is said that the meek shall inherit the earth
so I cultivate patience in this winter pause
waiting for nature’s signs
that it is time to sow, and seed, and feed,
not rushing to break the season’s silence
with the arrogant noise of one who thinks
she is the force in charge of growing.

I wait and dream of
spring days, the return of
tousled blue hydrangeas,
buoyant red geraniums and
eastern bluebirds building, nesting
and filling my space with their joyful song.


And then, in the garden shop
on a faux-spring February day,
I see them,
blushing petals, coral-pink,
hugging a butter yellow center
full of juicy promise, these strawberry plants
ready to rehome, someplace outside my door.

There are herbs
oregano, sage, and thyme
heady with earthy scent and
lime green lettuce leaves
delicate and tender
promising flavor in sauces and salads
shared with family and friends.

So I buy them all
these harbingers of bounty
and beauty and the dutiful work of
digging in the dirt
when true spring arrives
with soft rain, sunny skies
and the promise of never being completely finished.

For one’s health, it is very necessary to work in the garden and see the flowers growing.” Vincent Van Gogh