Closed on account of snow.

A very cold miniature garden. The two Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' in the front are about 14 inches tall.

A very cold miniature garden. The two Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' in the front are about 14 inches tall.

A Garden for All: Closed on account of snow

I work at home, the husband doesn’t. It’s a snow day. What would you do?

Ah, the trials and tribulations of working at home. I have a Web site to maintain, an online store to keep fluffed, orders to be filled, and a major show to plan for. Oh, and a blog to write, too.

The question is, when is a day off, a day off, if you work at home?

Any other month, at any other time, I can go out to the garden with “the husband,” escape the chained-to-a-desk-job I invented for myself, and still pretend that I’m working. Well, because I am!

I need to garden and design and primp and weed and play. It’s part of my job as an artist, and a creative, after all. If I don’t play, I don’t get ideas.

No ideas, no newsletter, no new product, you know?

But snow? How can I escape, and do my work of “play” in snow? I can’t stay chained to the computer when my favorite person suddenly has a day off, and there’s almost a foot of snow on the ground? Can I? Can I?

I grew up in Toronto. I know snow all too well. I don’t need to walk in the snow, I know what it feels/tastes/smells/looks like. I don’t need to play in the snow. It’s cold. “Oh, it’s beautiful.” Ya, if you can’t feel it. It’s lovely. And it’s cold!

In Toronto, (well, north of Toronto now, it changed.), we can’t garden between the months of November and March. In fact, the prime growing period is only June to August, and even then, that timeframe cannot be guaranteed. The ground freezes so well that a 6-foot depth is standard for all in ground pipes, fence posts, um, coffins, and it’s bloody cold too.

Do you know why Canadians are so passive? It’s too cold to do anything about it. It’s the same reason that humor is a necessity for survival up there. In Canada, add about 40 minutes to your day in the winter, for putting on extra clothing and taking it off, I kid you not. Truly, Toronto winters are not fun.

I love Seattle. I’ve been here 10 years now and I’m still here (that, in itself, is a feat for me). Most of you know, it hardly snows here at all, and you can work in the garden at any time of the year. The fact that there are plants that do grow in the winter was one of the selling points in staying here.

I was completely, and utterly, enamored with the Camelias flowers in December and January. Blooms in January! My Jasmine blooms all winter, too. I was so enthralled with the flora here, I built a business around plants.

Except when it snows. The husband has lit the fire pit. I’m outta here.

Visit Janit’s Web site; Her online store is, 206-352-0494.


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