MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How To Get Out of Winter Blues -- Tips For My Fellow Gardeners

I usually get winter blues, every year, as the gardening period comes to an end. This year is no exception. What is it in gardening that makes us happy? Is it because we are surrounded by green and genetically we are more accustomed to green (than any other color because of our forest/grassland dwelling ancestry)? Or is it because we are surrounded by sound, color, movement and beauty -- the buzzing of bees, chirping of birds; the fleeting color of butterflies; the swaying of grasses in the breeze; the vibrant displays of flowers? Or is it because we have so much work in the garden -- inspecting, mulching, pruning, deadheading, climbing, crawling, kneeling, standing -- that we do not get the time to be depressed?

If you think deeply, you realize that gardening should be a very depressing chore for all the various reasons:
  • It is hard-work; dragging all the heavy pots, mulches, compost across the garden is not a fun job.
  • Trees and perennials take time to reach maturity. Gardening needs patience. It does not give us instant gratification. As you put the plant in the ground and imagine how it will look in ten years time, other thoughts peeks from around the corner; "how will my life be after ten years?" "will I still be alive?" "will the people that I love be still around?" These are not joyful thoughts.
  • You become a mass-murderer of weeds; you are a serial-killer of seedlings of unwanted plants; you squeeze the life out of garden-destroying bugs without blinking you eyes. You are indeed a psychopath. You can never be happy.
  • You do not kill weeds and unwanted bugs; you refuse to take life. Well! your garden will never be like the ones shown on TV or in magazines. You can only long and day-dream for such gardens. How extraordinarily sad!!
  • You fall in love with a plant and then look at the price-tag......
  • Some of your favorite flowers bloom only for few hours; or a day. Their ephemeral beauty, their short stay remind you that our stay on this earth is also for a fleeting moment. You do not know where you have come from; you do not know where you will go at the end of your life; nothing is permanent in your life. We are just but temporary residents, doing some temporary activities. What's the use of anything, of gardening?

  • Despite all such melancholy thoughts, gardening always lifts me up. I become like the butterfly, fluttering across the garden, to drink-in all that it has to offer.

    I wait in anticipation for the plants to germinate, the seeds to arrive, and wild-lives playing hide-and-seek in my weed-ridden garden.

    To enjoy more of gardening I started doing, for the last two years, indoor-gardening. All of us can do this if we have either a basement or attic or some place somewhere in the house. It can even be a garage as long as the temperature is not freezing cold.

    I have it in our basement. Our basement is furnished (for my non-American friends, a furnished basement means it is like a proper room; it is not a damp, dark place where things are just dumped) and thus heated. If you want the plants to remain green and even bear fruits and flowers, then the temperature of the place should be like above 55 F (13 C). Thus, it is like a green-house but inside the house.

    We built the whole system with less than hundred dollar. We searched around Home-Depot, Restores and Lowes (they are home-improvement supply superstores here in the US), and found this industrial-strength steel racks for about $30 (I don't know why they were so cheap; or perhaps we were lucky). You need such racks to bear the weight of all the pots and soil. You can also use plastic racks but again they have to be of industrial strength to carry all the loads. We set up the racks; bought some grow lights (from walmart, $4 each) and light-fixtures (for about couple of dollars from Restores); fitted the fixtures with bulbs. Hung those up through the racks, and voila! we have established our indoor green-house.

    I know! I know! I hear you can I commit such crime against environment by keeping those lights on for about 8 hours every day? I can do so because they consume very less electricity. If I leave all the grow-lights on for twenty-four hours, then at the end of the month it will consume electricity worth less than ten dollar. So, it should tell you how little it consumes and I do not leave them on for more than eight hours.

    I water them only once a week along with some water-soluble sea-weed. I do not give them a thorough soak but enough to keep the soil moist. They are inside and thus do not have any of the outdoor elements like wind, sun, to dry them up. Too much water can kill them. I can harvest from them if I want to but I mostly for my enjoyment. Come Spring I put them in the ground so that they start fruiting again. I have bulbs, tubers, peppers, various herbs, tea-plant, curry-leaf plant, ginger and turmeric plants, tomatoes and other greens there. I also have other plants -- lemon, lime, bay-leaf, herbs, aloe, papaya, guava, longevity-spinach and other house-plants -- in front of every window in the house. Our house is a mini-forest during winter. Do you have any plants inside your house during winter?

    I'm joining in the memes hosted by Eileen,  Rambling WoodsSt Germain's meme.


    1. It to cold to snow here in North Idaho. You ask me where the link was for my dog Daisy teeth cleaning...It on right hand side of my blog right below my profile and above coffee drinkers...

    2. What an interesting post! My daughter and son-in-law have a kind of an indoor seed-shed, but it does get under 32 degr. here on 2000-3000 feet altitude, so heat is also needed.
      This is a very useful problem that is a great idea for a SEASONS post, so I may steal this idea from you -and refer to your post for the people who have a patch of ground to do this.Thank you so much for sharing what works for you at ALL SEASONS, and have a great rest of the week!

    3. What a great post. This really really isn't my time of year. I've been growing Celebrity and Super Sauce Romas from Burpee. I get a lot of tomatoes but later in the season the blight devastates the plants. Linda and I finally got a small camping trailer after tent camping for 20 years. Being a "Teardrop" it is small and light weight for a trailer. (easy to tow).. Still cost to much though LOL. Have a great day

    4. Seed catalogs are always wonderful to browse through and dream over! The nice thing about Colorado winters where I live is that I see wildlife all the time which helps keep away the blues. Fox, deer, rabbits, squirrels and raccoons are daily visitors. I also still take hikes in winter--getting outside among bature helps any time of the year.

    5. What a beautiful and fun post! You have found many excellent reasons to why we love gardening... and perhaps there are even more of them. :) Your indoor-gardening looks lovely.
      Thank you for your comment today. The American mink is an invasive species where I live and does serious damage to the populations of aquatic birds.

    6. This is a great post. I too get depressed but this post cheered me up. I would like to grow some plants inside but I don't have room yet, Yet... LOL..... Michelle

    7. Gardening to me is a four letter word! ----- W O R K
      But I enjoy it. Around where I live tho, we have no snow, and the flower garden needs work year 'round.

      Love the photo of the woodpecker peeking over the fencing.

    8. Hi. And thanks for visiting my blog here in England. Like you I hate winter but I agree we just have to get on with it. In my case I enjoy the winter bird watching when the weather allows. I am so impressed by your indoor gardening and the variety of things you grow - all wonderful things to eat as well as to see and smell.

    9. We got snow and our son sent us some pepper seeds.

    10. I'm doing a bit of indoor gardening also - just planted seven Amaryllis bulbs.

    11. “You do not kill weeds and unwanted bugs; you refuse to take life.”

      But even such people have to kill unwanted plants in order to even have a garden.

      As for SAD, there are light lamps that are supposed to help. I even bought one but have only used it when I needed a bright work light, the reason being that I got to worrying about it causing macular degeneration because if real sunlight does, why wouldn’t artificial sunlight do the same. Have you thought of anti-depressants. They really can make a big difference. In my case, the depression gets so bad that my behavior steps out of the normal range of rationality, so I really need them (and my wife really needs me to take them), and not just in winter either.

      “I tried to follow you but getting the forbidden error 403 message. Do you know why?”

      I can’t figure it out. I’ve been over all of my settings, and see nothing restrictive there, and the suggestions I find through “help” don’t apply to Blogspot, and relate to people having problems with their own blogs rather than with other people having problems with their blogs. I also signed up to follow your blog, and the process went without a hitch. Perhaps, you could try again and tell me if you get the same message.

      …Like you, I love plants, but it’s potted plants inside and shrubs and ornamental grasses outside, although I do have daffodils (my favorite flower), and I also scatter a packet of mixed seeds after the daffodils die down. I also have two grow lights, one is four feet long and the other two feet long. They’re in my bedroom, and they’re hooded. I run them sixteen hours a day. Like your’s, they don’t cost much (being fluorescent), but even if they did, I need plants to survive these godawful gray and rainy (everyday for months) Oregon winters. If I had it to do over, I would have moved somewhere else when I left Mississippi, but it’s a bit late in life to move now, and on the plus side, the winters here at least aren’t terribly cold.

    12. I'm not sre what deadheading is unless you're a groupie, but I think all of those things contribute. Changing scenes is so important and what's better than being surrounded by something you're bringing to life.

    13. Great post and gorgeous photos!!! :)

    14. The grow lights are great! you are growing some of your own food and starting plants and flowers that are good for the environment -- that's all a wonderful thing. Jeanna's comment above made me laugh; I know what she is thinking of since I am originally from Grateful Dead country, but I also remember very well what deadheading is -- when we gardened we had about 30 rhododendrons and deadheading those sticky things was a big chore -- but oh so worth it! Sometimes I miss gardening very much -- but what I really miss (at this stage of life) is the results -- not the hard work. Nowadays, I am happy to see my flowers in parks and other people's gardens and on beautiful blogs like yours. But I am glad I had a beautiful yard and garden for years -- I enjoyed it very much at the time.

    15. I love your indoor garden. I'd be tempted to try something similar but I have to be away from home about half the time between January and May. I have to be satisfied with just a few Amaryllis. But I agree with you that gardening is wonderful for cheering yourself up!

    16. Happy you are back in blogland. I personally always really enjoy your point of view!
      About the meme All Seasons - it had only optional themes for the month of April!! So, we are back to "post whatever you want -your experience in the season!" The link is stil open from Sunday through Wednesday -till 7pm Pacific time!
      I'll come back later today to read your whole post:)

    17. The American mink is an invasive species where I live and does serious damage to the populations of aquatic birds.