January is by no means my most favorite month. Being outdoors requires a level of intestinal fortitude I just don’t have. I dislike the cold. I dislike the garden- dead to the world. I hate the relentless gray. My spirits can be the same color as that sky-gloomy. A little self-made diversion can help. The first step is to alleviate that cold. My boots and slippers alternate on the radiator, so I have warm feet for at least some part of every day. Buck likes an overnight temperature in the house of 64 degrees. Really. I have recently added an extra blanket on my side. I indulge in a hot bath at least once a week, both January and February. I pile on the clothes. On occasion I keep my coat on all day. When my winter headband is not on my head, it is around my neck. Sometimes I wear them in multiples.
I drink lots of coffee, and load it up with half and half. Hot and frequent meals are good, even though getting those January pounds off in late March gets harder every year. Though I have no interest whatever in cooking, I love reading about food in January. Reading about food is a much better plan for me than eating, though sometimes I will add a cupcake to that hot cup of coffee. My favorite place to read online about food is 66 Square Feet. Her writing is superb, so I am sure what she cooks is every bit as good. She makes the story of a salad concocted from foraged roadside greens exciting, and satisfying. The food she prepares with its roots in her South African heritage-it all sounds delicious, not just exotic. Sustaining. It just so happens that she gardens as well-what’s not to like about this part? Her writing is consistently thought provoking and entertaining- her life and times quite interesting. www.66squarefeet.blogspot.com
Reading is an excellent winter diversion. If I am reading about gardening in January, I like to either be entertained, or transported-or both. The Garden Outlaw is highly entertaining, sometimes provocative. His blog post about Christmas lights was incredibly funny. His take on the gardening world will make you forget that it is January. www.outlawgarden.blogspot.com If I am looking for a little transport, a tour of an English garden via the Galloping Gardener (www.thegallopinggardener.blogspot.com) can be just the diversion I need. I have taken her tours more than one time-they are that good. The blog Rock Rose (www.rockrose.blogspot.com) features a garden so unlike my own that I am transported. She travels to visit all sorts of other gardens, and is very good at illustrating and writing about her visits.
Any garden reading which is either too involved or too serious makes me sleepy in January. I am only looking at the pictures in Gardens Illustrated now. I will read it later in February, when that cooped up feeling gets good and fierce.
I highly recommend an afternoon nap as a perfect January diversion. It is a very good time to be dreaming about that garden to be.