One of the most important preparations a gardener can make for winter is to set up a winter lair.
The winter lair should be indoors for obvious reasons, like snow and sleet and ice and rain and cold winds that knock the breath out of you.
It should be comfortable and if at all possible situated so that the gardener can see out into the garden from the lair.
I’ve never set up such a spot for myself. Until now.
Just for select readers, here is where I plan to spend many hours this winter, my gardener’s lair.
The green chair is actually a recliner, because sometimes the best ideas for gardening come when you are lying back, with eyes closed, covered up with a warm throw. No, not sleeping. Just thinking. Well, maybe a little sleeping, but that’s okay because every gardener needs time to rest and dream about next year’s garden
I put a basket on the floor to hold catalogs and magazines. Currently it is loaded down with bulb catalogs and last year’s seed catalogs. I’ll recycle those soon in anticipation of receiving the first seed catalogs any day now.
I added a new lamp, adorned with a little bird. From my lair, I’ll be able to see two bird feeders I set up for the winter. Already, after just a few days, I’ve seen several cardinals at the feeders. Or maybe it is one cardinal visiting several times. Regardless, I have a good view of the feeders from my chair in my gardener’s lair.
I’ll have many books piled on the table before winter is over. Many of them will hopefully lead down into deep, interesting rabbit holes. One rabbit hole I’ll go down soon is into two books by Sydney Eddison – A Patchwork Garden (1990, Harper & Row Publishers) and Gardening for a Lifetime (2010, Timber Press). I heard her speak today at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. If you ever have a chance to hear her speak, you should go. She will tell you about how a garden changes through the seasons, and how each change gives you a chance to simplify and continue gardening, with a little help, even when you are not as strong as before.
For a little ambiance, a tiny mouse holds a little tea light candle for me.
I purchased this one in Seattle this past summer when I was there for the last garden bloggers’ fling. Why, yes, I am planning to attend the fifth fling in Asheville, North Carolina, thank you for asking.
Off in the corner, where I can see it out of the corner of my eye, is the little garden fairy door.
There is no way that any garden fairy is going to sneak in without me knowing it. Well, they might sneak in without me seeing them, but at least I’ll know where they came from when they do get in. They are quite obvious, if you let them be.
The fairy door is by the fireplace hearth, because they are attracted to its warmth, which means my little gardener’s lair is also close to the fireplace, because I like its warmth, too.
I’m looking forward to the first snowy afternoon, which will hopefully be on a Sunday, so I can sit in my green chair, gaze out at the bird feeders and garden, keep one eye out for garden fairies, and read some good gardening books. And maybe close my eyes a bit to dream of next year’s garden.