In the Garden...


Christmas and New Year’s festivities behind; -here comes January, with a new chapter in our lives, and in our gardens.

I love January. Most days, I like to wrap up, go, and breathe fresh Winter air, outside. I did it as long as I can remember.

My childhood walks used to be in the world of curiosity, fun, and fantasy. Each outing, felt like a major life event, then. I enjoyed marking freshly fallen snow with my footsteps, all going in strange directions. I looked for animal footprints, tried to identify birds I came across, and most of all, dreamt of being an explorer in a new land, - nameless, cold and remote.

A few Winters have passed since then . . . I still like watching for signs of snow, and wildlife. Deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, occasional coyote; blue jays, robins, doves, snowbirds, bluebirds and Canadian geese can all be seen here, in North Carolina, in January.

I also like exploring. A new area of my exploration is small, yet close. It's called Our Garden. I enjoy seeing daily changes that occur there, and record brief, unique moments in its life with my camera. Most of the time, I just like to look at my plants and see what needs pruning, what looks sick or simply overwhelmed with last night's acts of nature, such as ice. All these reasons, do make my visits not just pleasurable but plain necessary, too.

Our January garden can be quite an uplifting experience, I find.

Started in the Fall, kitchen garden section, does rather well in the middle of Winter. It is located just outside our kitchen windows, convenient to access anytime, any day.

We harvest greens such as broccoli, spinach, parsley, onion tops, sorrel, radishes, cabbages, kale, and love to make them into salads.

From gardener's perspective, Winter gardening, in North Carolina (we are in zone 7 (1)) is actually more manageable and rewarding than the Summer one.

We hardly bother to water the soil, there are no bugs to worry about or to ruin the crop, and the greens we pick, do grow greener, fresher and healthier.

Some of the frames we used for growing Summer crop are now left to rest and recover. We covered them with lots of mulch. As they become available, we bury organic kitchen waste, and add some clean wood ashes, to help break down the mulch and condition the soil, in time, for the next season's planting.

All busy, busy, busy, and that's just the beginning!

Go back to Gardener's Pastimes in January page

(1) Find out more about Hardiness Zones
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors:
bulabean, dive-angel (Karin), Jasmine&RosesRita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, W. D. Williams

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