The forecast is for flowers

How a gardener survives winter.

More snow, sleet, and blustery winds are descending on us here in Massachusetts. All that has reminded me of something I wrote five years ago. I looked it up in the Monitor archive and found that my feelings about how to deal with the worst winter has to offer haven't changed a bit:

I'm not a big fan of winter weather, which is a problem if you live in New England. But this winter has brought home to me how differently my husband and I handle temperatures that hover around zero and snow measured in feet rather than inches.

This brings out the weather watcher in my spouse. He tunes in to the Weather Channel. He switches between local TV stations and their meteorologists. This one is predicting six inches; that one thinks the white stuff will start falling at 10 a.m. He lets me know that the latest radar readings show the snow is only so many hours away.

I find this amusing since we live five minutes' walk from work, a grocery store, the post office, and countless restaurants. Unless the power goes out or we need to travel, we are relatively insulated from the effects of snow.

But who am I to snicker? I manage to live through winter weather by immersing myself in gardening.

Not the real thing, mind you; these are dream gardens. The yard I might have if I lived in California. Or if I had a comfortable fortune and knew a trendy landscape architect. The kinds of gardens that occupy the stack of gardening books piled high on my nightstand.

While New England Cable News is announcing, "It's coming down at the rate of two inches an hour," I drool over a woodland path lined with stately foxgloves. When the scrape of snow shovels becomes a cacophony outside, I debate the merits of daylilies named Tropic Sunset and Southern Summer.

Some of the ideas I read about do end up being used in my garden. But mostly they give me hope that spring - and warm weather - will eventually arrive, no matter what the Weather Channel says.

That was originally published Feb. 19, 2003. It reminds me that the current storm will pass, others will no doubt follow, and we will live through it - snow, sleet, high winds, below-zero wind chill, and windows that allow wind to blow right through. In spring, it will all be forgotten as soon as the daffodils bloom.

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