Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January Jitters

Gone are the days when I couldn't walk out of a Walmart or Lowe's without taking a side trip to the gardening department during winter. (I haven't managed to accomplish that feat during planting or growing seasons yet.) But with over 175 plants taking up residence inside the house during winter, it makes no sense to bring more of them home.

Wait. Since when did sense have anything to do with plant buying?

I really have tried to rein in my obsession. The state of the economy is reason enough. But there is that thing called the January Jitters. Anyone who lives in a climate where you're forced by things such as
Alberta Clippers to store your garden tools for a few months has likely suffered through this midwinter malady.

At first, you welcome the break from the garden, after a busy spring, summer, and fall. Your garden needs the rest and so do you. But like anything that has been a daily habit, you start to go through withdrawal, until the holidays steal your attention. There are so many other things going on that gardening can temporarily be shoved to the back burner. Oh, there might be an amaryllis bulb here or a poinsettia there, but even normal people buy those.

And then January comes. The weather is in a snit, everyday work routines resume, and the next major holiday is far off in the distance. We dream of vacations to warmer climes and check the calendar again, with the hope that this will be The Year That February Forgot. We're itching to be back in the garden again.

One day, you walk to the mailbox and there's one, maybe two, seed catalogs. The next day, there are a couple more. You resist looking at them, because you can't plant seeds anyway. Or can you?

Of course! There's winter sowing. You know you won't see the fruits of your labor until spring "springs," but hey, at least you get to play in the dirt. And there's your downfall. You let yourself start thinking about the garden, you get your hands dirty, and you're off and running.

Try to resist? Some are better at it than others, but like any other addiction, it will resurface once you've had a little hair of the dog that bit you. And that, my friends, is what happened to me this past weekend. And yesterday after work.

I'd done so well! I'd only bought one amaryllis bulb at Meijer and one at Walmart. Then I thought I'd attempt a poinsettia again. (Don't ask.) That was way back in December. Christmas came and went and after three winters of winter sowing, I decided not to do it this year. Sunday, we took the afternoon to finish making Christmas and other returns, one of which needed to go back to Lowe's.

The return desk is situated directly across from their seed display. Oh...the colors! I thought I'd just take a look. Gosh darn it. One thing led to another. I saw these apricot pollenless sunflowers that looked interesting. And carmine Gomphrena.

I'd planted
Gomphrena last summer, thinking I was going to get red ones, and they were pink and purple. Oh, and they had 'Summer Berries' annual Scabiosa again. I planted those a little late last spring and while they eventually started growing large enough to flower, a hard freeze ruined them before they had a chance.

Daughter Kara was along with us and while I was looking at the seeds, she went back to the houseplant area and found amaryllis bulbs marked down to $3.49. I just wanted to see what they had left and if they were decent bulbs that hadn't started flowering inside the box. Uh huh. They also had crocus kits with three bulbs and the glass forcing vases for $2.24, but I didn't buy one of those. Good for me!

I left Lowe's with three packets of seeds and one amaryllis bulb. I had to use some store credit they'd given me anyway, so I really got those almost for free, right? Just the thought of planting the seeds in the spring as well as having another pretty amaryllis flower for the winter put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I don't think I did too badly now, did I?

The next day, I worked in Fort Wayne. My route home takes me past another Lowe's. As I was sitting at the light, waiting for it to turn green, I looked over at Lowe's and wondered if they still had any of those crocus kits. I'd never forced crocus before and thought it might be a fun thing to do. The kits were so cheap - why not?

Sure enough, they had several kits and I picked one up. I decided to just walk through the house plants and see what they had, since this was a different Lowe's than I'd been in the day before.

You know what's the
best cure for the January Jitters?

Phalaenopsis Long Pride 'Amy'

I feel so much better now. The shakes have nearly disappeared.


Anonymous said...

Oh Kylee, we are so much alike! My houseplant collection has grown by leaps and bounds this winter, because I'm substituting them for my garden! And yes, I just acquired my first orchid too. You'll read about it in the morning! LOL I've forced amaryllis and paperwhites, bought no end of seeds, brought home many garden magazines, even purchased several vases of fresh flowers. I need help.

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ Don't look to me for help! LOL. Resistance is futile. You'll be more miserable not surrounding yourself with all that plant life than being without the money it takes to do it.

Besides...it's good for the air. :-)

Unknown said...

Now, happily for me (or not), I haven't been up to going to any stores yet, so I've remained oblivious to January jitters. But I KNOW the first time I go into one and see something in bloom, I will snap. But I'll blame it on you, okay?

Anonymous said...

I've been pouring over plant selections for weeks now. I enjoy it just like the rest of us crazed January gardeners. Looks like you got some good selections and a fix till tomorrow. Tomorrow you'll have more room in the car.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

And I'm up past my bedtime, gardening through blogging! Lovely plants!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Very cute. Does anyone know of a cure?

Ewa said...

this is funny - I can see araucaria (my favourite indoor plant - have 2 of them) and orchid - you are my type of girl!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I see you found the just the right antidote for you jitters. I must try this and see if it helps me. :)

Colleen Vanderlinden said...

I know exactly where you're coming from, Kylee! I completely have the January Jitters. I wasn't going to do any winter sowing this year either, but I just needed to smell soil again (do I sound like an addict, or what?) So I did a few milk jugs, and I swear I'm stopping at that :-)

My local Lowes didn't have any of those crocus kits left. I ended up buying a couple more houseplants, and they had some "lucky bamboo" on clearance, so I bought that. If it was green, I was all over it LOL.

It'll be spring soon, right?

F Cameron said...

It seems like I "window shop" the seed catalogs every evening. I already have seeds to sow, but I'm trying to curb my appetite for MORE!


Dave said...

The temptation to get new plants and gardening gadgets will always be there. The seeds are what is tempting me right now. It's January and I'm actually thinking of starting a few indoors. I need to wait but the act of not doing anything for the garden seems wasteful!

Anonymous said...

Resistance is futile, it would seem. :) But what joy those little packets and pots may bring.

Connie said...

This was a humorous and entertaining post...I chuckled my way all the way through it. But only because I UNDERSTAND, ha. Maybe we need a support group? :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, if there were anyone I could hold up as the epitome of gardening (besides my Aunt MEA) it would be you (and your mom)! I love that you have tons of plants indoors during the Winter (nice, healthy, fresh air) and that you do the Winter Sowing! This year, I aim to try!!!! I just squished a milk jug and am paying for it by my feeling of great remorse. ;-) I wonder, though. Don't you think if I start cutting, I could re-shape it? (Worth a try!) Thanks for broaching all these subjects in one post! :-)

Kylee Baumle said...

Jodi ~ Just call me The Enabler!

Anna ~ LOLOL!!

Sue ~ Oh for SURE, reading garden blogs helps, until you start reading those warm climate ones. LOL

Debbi ~ Weren't you paying attention, Debbi? Here's what you do...go to your local garden center (practically any one of them will do when it's winter), find an irresistible plant, don't resist it - BUY IT! I promise, it works! The only problem is, you might have to have repeat doses...

Ewa ~ Oh yes, we gardeners are all kindred spirits, aren't we? :-)

Lisa ~ I practically guarantee it, Lisa. Let us know what your personal cure is, okay?

Colleen ~ Let's see...spring. More than two months away, but Thanksgiving was about that many months ago and doesn't that seem like just yesterday? Okay, maybe not, but it sounds good anyway. Hang in there, woman! I'm hanging with you!

Cameron ~ Oh do I ever know THAT feeling! But if you don't try new things, how will you ever learn about them? (I can rationalize with the best of 'em.)

Dave ~ Absolutely. That's why I eventually fall off the wagon during the time when I'm supposed to be thinking of taking care of the house (which gets sorely neglected during gardening season). It seems I just can't resist.

Nancy ~ Are you like I am? Even if I don't plant all the seeds I have, I sure love looking at those packets in my box. LOL Maybe it's because of the possibilities we see when we look at them.

Connie ~ We probably do need a support group, but I don't want one, do you? :-)

Shady ~ Oh dear! Don't give me that to live up to! LOL. I'm just the same as you and every other gardener out there...living and learning every day by what the garden teaches me. Isn't it fun?

Yes, I think you can reshape the milk jug. The seeds don't care if they're perfect. ;-) Good luck with your winter sowing!

Rose said...

Kylee, Your cure for the January jitters seems perfectly logical to me--much cheaper than therapy:) Your orchid is gorgeous! I've resisted the houseplant cravings pretty much so far, but I couldn't pass up an amaryllis at Meijer's a few weeks ago, and there are the pots of tulips I'm trying to force. My semi-cure is a book--I just came home from the library with an armful of gardening books. That should help take my mind off the wind howling and the sub-zero temperatures outside.

The photo of the icy fencerail, by the way, is terrific. Stay warm!

Brenda Pruitt said...

Yep, I clearly suffer from this. It makes my heart sink a little when I visit a Lowes or Home Depot and the nursery area looks bedraggled and half-empty. An addiction I will admit to!

Unknown said...

Wow, that's a whole lot of indoor plants. I don't do well with houseplants, forgetting to water and plant eating cats do not make for healthy houseplants.

I always love a good deal though!

kate smudges said...

We must have been separated at birth ... I can so identify with you. (Are you sure the Alberta Clipper isn't really a Saskatchewan Screamer?? LOL Our wind chills today were -47F ...but the car started.

Dana S. Whitney said...

Makes sense to me... and we don't have to store our tools. Do you sow on the snow? Sprout seeds indoors someplace? If so, where??? a garage? closet? (We don't have basements.. I suppose basements with gro-lites on a timer might be ideal. Neophytes want to know.

Jan said...

Kylee, You remind me of me:)
Except for the part that I haven't actually (yet) succumbed to my lusts!!
But, after reading this, muah-ahha-I can no longer control myself and it's out the door for me today, to Lowe's, HomeDepot or Walmart I must go!!!
Yep, I've seen those orchids just sitting there WAITING for a nice home, for someone to take care of them; Well, now is the time! I'm going to adopt one!!
Or, who knows? Maybe MORE than one??? I'll let you know....
Thanks for this nice post;)

Pat said...

You go girl !
Great story and oh so true.
Hmmm... wonder what time lowes is open 'till tonight?

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

LOL! You just couldn't resist! Well, I think you got some great buys. I have to tell you that I've already sent two people over to your post last year on winter sowing. Your post is so informative that they may try it.


Anonymous said...

Oh how I synpathize with that addiction. Luckily (I guess) my house is pretty small - so that combined with 2 cats means I can't have too many house plants (still, I have about 12-15!). But my collection at the office is slowly growing.

What are your recommendations for seed catalogs? I get plant and bulb catalogs now, but I'm going to try my hand at some seeds, and might want more of a selection than Lowe's can offer. Suggestions for some I can request online?

Kylee Baumle said...

Rose ~ Books work, too! Unless they show something that I decide I must have. Of course, during the winter, we have to delay our gratification for most things. I'm not very good at that!

Brenda ~ We don't have a Lowe's all that nearby, but when I do go into one, I HAVE to check out the plants, both inside and out. If I see a marked-down bargain that will fit into my garden, that looks like it will recover from whatever ails it, I find it hard to resist.

Cinj ~ Yes, it is a lot, and I really hope to pare that down next winter. It's not that much work, but it's kind of like having too many cats in the house at once!

Kate ~ Wow! What a battery! Romie just had to replace the one in the Beetle this week. And I'd not heard the term Saskatchewan Screamer until this week. They mentioned it on TV, too, but we generally get the Clippers.

Knitting Painter Woman ~ I sow them in milk jugs. You can read about it here.

Jan ~ Rabid gardeners just understand each other, don't they? :-) So what did ya get, huh? I'm heading over to your blog to see if you've posted about something new!

Patsi ~ Did you end up getting anything? ;-)

Cindy ~ Thanks for the vote of confidence, Cindy! I'm not doing it this year. Not sure why I'm not, other than I didn't have any desire to! *hugs back!*

Jennah ~ We have two inside cats, plus Jilly is in for the winter this year, so I guess that's three. LOL. They're really pretty good with the plants - they bother them very little.

For seeds, I have purchased from Swallowtail Seeds, Park Seeds, and John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. I've had great results from their seeds, but I wouldn't hesitate to also recommend Johnny's Selected Seeds or Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I love winter seed sowing!!! I need to sow some more tomatoes in fact.

Adrienne Zwart said...

LOL, I love this post! I'm so glad you found the orchid to ease your January jitters. :) It's lovely!

blogger templates | Make Money Online