In 1785 William Cowper wrote:
Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.
Unconscious of a less propitious clime
There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug
While winds whistle and the snows descend.
In 1974 Maya Angelou said, “Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says ‘I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I’m going to snow anyway’.”
And there is a Chinese proverb that makes many of us smile:
If you would be happy for a day, get drunk.
If you would be happy for a week, take a wife.
If you would be happy for a month, kill your pig.
But if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden.
And Jude Patterson wrote, “In winter, when roots and seeds sleep under the crusted snow, the gardener is an artist hatching ideas for the coming season.”
But my personal advice to you in January is to be careful of all of those tempting offers that arrive in catalogs in the mail this month, as well as all of the seductive offers to order plants online. We are all so eager to have flowers on our gardens again, that we are susceptible to all of the plant offers that bombard us. But it really is too early to start ordering plants—January is too soon!—so try, if possible, to exercise some restraint.