As we enter into winter I’m reminded of the ways a garden helps keep our lives fresh and new. Living where there is a dramatic change in the weather from season to season already prompts us to accept change, and the altered landscape calls us to view our immediate surroundings with fresh eyes. As a gardener this is a double challenge.
We must let go of the color and abundance of the growing season and embrace the warmth of shelter and turning inward. At the same time the seed catalogs are arriving and we are thinking toward spring.
It’s also apparent that the choices we’ve made when planting have consequences throughout the year. If we’ve picked plants that keep their foliage, have berries or catch the snow in interesting ways, our enjoyment of winter is increased. And yet, in the springtime, when flowers tempt us at every turn, it’s difficult to think about how our landscape will look when it’s covered in frost or snow. We are in the present but tied to both the past and future.
So the gift of growth that I receive from my gardens this month is the message that plants have something to give us twelve months a year. The garden offers seasonal prompts, or tap-on-the-shoulder messages, to see all of life with new eyes.