Thursday, January 9, 2014

Green Amid the Gray

I think I did a post like this last's always this time of year when the gray and the rain all become too much and I go actively searching for green growing things to hold me over until we start to get a few signs of spring outside.

The new year didn't start off quite as I had hoped. Just before I was supposed to be returning to work, I was admitted to the hospital for 24 hours with a very un-fun infection. It's all in hand now, I'm being barraged with antibiotics and was able to go back to work on Tuesday. The extremely good news is that my healthcare provider/company is covering all of my medical costs (surgery plus the later hospitalization) since I am on the lower income end of things. It is a massive, massive relief that I have only my student debt to contend with as the new year begins.

As soon as I returned to work, the rain hit. It's been a remarkably dry couple of months, much to the skiers' chagrin- there's really only a couple feet of snow on the mountain, when there should be many many feet of snow. Now it's raining in town and snowing up high, and I know we need the moisture but it's hard to be grateful for rain when everything is cold and soggy and the low clouds make it get darker half an hour earlier than it would otherwise.

I headed over to my garden on my lunch break yesterday. I haven't been to visit it since the end of October, and only have garlic, leeks and collards growing. I always plant garlic in mid-October, and have never had it sprout earlier than Christmas. This year, I planted it two weeks later than usual, and it was four inches tall three weeks later. What the heck, overenthusiastic garlic? We had a big old cold snap at the beginning of December, but I hadn't yet gotten a chance to run over the garden and see if my silly garlic had survived the hard frosts.

It would seem that it has! The tips of the leaves are definitely a little worse for wear, but it all seems to be alive and growing. The collards bit the dust, and the leeks are also a little yellowed along the edges, but otherwise all seems to be well.

Back at home, my New Year's present to myself was a whole bunch of green growing things to have around inside my apartment. A big row of paper whites on the windowsill has been brightening my days and sending their nice aroma all over the apartment. Since my poor old geraniums gave up the ghost a couple months ago (they were five years old), I got three new house plants to keep plenty of green around.

I also realized it's time to order seeds for this year's garden. I haven't given the garden much thought the last couple months, but now, with the restlessness of midwinter, it is the perfect time to pull out my seed box and figure out what to grow this year. Most of my pepper and tomato seed will be several years old at this point so I'll be starting fresh with most things. Exciting!

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