Winter’s Tolling Bells

Winter’s arrival marks the end of a calendar year, but it does not mark the end of life.

In a way Winter is the real Spring – the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.         -Edna O’Brien

The tools get cleaned and put away, the beds are all tucked in. It feels like the end of something. In actuality, Winter is a pause, a time of recollection, and a time of action. Before Spring can blossom, Winter prepares the plans and goals for the next three seasons. Winter is not idle. Winter is full of courage and hope for the homestead. We research new projects, gather seed catalogs, and journal new plots. No, Winter is not a finality, it is a time of rebirth.

What are your winter imaginings?

…the color of winter is in the imagination.  -Terri Guillemets

Foolish February

February is the month that tricks you into thinking spring has arrived when warmer temperatures and sunny days bewitch you. Do not do it. Severe frost is still inevitable here in Idaho. If you are not sure, check with your local extension office or online at for a seed planting schedule. Just enter your zip code and it will let you know when to start seedlings indoors or outdoors and when to transplant outside.

Here are a few things that you can do:

~ Butterfly bushes and Hydrangeas, pretty much anything that blooms on new wood, can be cut down to six inches.
~ Fruit trees can be pruned.
~ This is a great time to move any trees or roses as they are dormant, thereby eliminating transplant shock.
~ Any perennials you left standing through the winter for food and cover for birds, can be cut back now.

Start these seeds indoors the last week of February:  Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, leeks, peppers, and certain onions.

What seeds will you be starting this month?

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. -Pietro Aretino