Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to Appreciate a Gloomy Day

Quail tracks in the snow

Rime on Roses - photo by Greg Smith

My Father's Mother was named Viola Ruth. She went by her middle name, but I always loved the fact that she was named after a flower. Ruth was an optimist and taught me to look on the bright side of things. However, here in the Pacific Northwest, winter can be pretty gloomy and depressing. I dreaded winter each year until I decided to make the best of it and look at it in another light, just as Grandma would have. In my every day world, I have several ways of coping.
*Gray skies remind me of a gray velvet dress that my sister bought me when I was in high school (I had my senior picture taken in that dress). I LOVED that dress.
*Fog is now mist, which carries a magical quality with it.
*I never appreciate a fire in the fireplace so much as when I am cold and wet from a foray outside.
*Rainy days are baking days.
*In the summer, I feel like I should be outdoors as much as possible. In the winter, I can stay inside and do arts and crafts without guilt.
* Most of the really fun holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day) happen in the winter.

In the Garden, there are many ways of enjoying winter as well.
*Plants with colored bark are brilliant in the winter sun.
*Mosses are green velvet.
*You can see the structure of the garden without distraction.
*Every winter blossom is a gift.
*Rime (heavy frost) on plants is pure magic.

Some ways to enjoy the winter garden more are:
*Feed the birds and get to know the different varieties you have at your feeder.
*Go for a walk in the garden with a magnifying glass and look at all the different mosses and lichens.
*Plant winter-fragrant plants like sarcococca and daphne so you can enjoy their intense perfume on a cold day.
*Plant winter-blooming plants like witch hazels, snowdrops and early narcissus.
Winter is now one of my favorite seasons, simply because I listened to my grandmother and looked on the bright side.

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