I have a plan for February. I can sum it up in one word. Hibernation. Why not just stay in bed wrapped under blankets with an occasional foray out to the fireplace for hot cocoa and then back to bed to dream of spring?
Okay…I know. It’s that pesky work thing. Hibernating through February is an impossible dream.
So what to do with that longest of shortest months? Since I am not being allowed to live my dream, I grow an imaginary garden. It takes up a lot of my time in February. (It also causes me to spend a lot of money on seeds and roses, but we don’t have to get into that.) Fantasy gardening is the only thing that gets me through this nasty last bit of winter. It sounds a little pathetic, but actually, my imaginary garden is pretty impressive.
In my imaginary garden, the vegetable beds are clean and weed free. Oh, and you know what? In my imaginary garden I grow an entire crop of those little French Charentais melons, not the usual two. And I somehow fit in a crop of watermelons. They manage to spread themselves across the other beds and oh look, a watermelon in the asparagus…no it’s not crushing anything, this is a fantasy. Also, I grow herbs from seed. I grow everything from seed, even the strawberries and tomatoes…all heirloom varieties, all perfect.
Someone has mulched the blueberries and added another row! There’s my cherry tree. There’s plenty for me and the birds. And there is a fence around the whole thing so that the deer can no longer trample the tomatoes on their way to the beans. Ha! No more eating my plum trees to the ground you pesky deer! In my imaginary garden, the dog can now keep the deer out but still somehow never decides to sleep on the squash.
In my imaginary garden, the pavers that I wish I had in the lower garden by the deck are already there. Oh look, there’s an urn with some weeping rosemary right in the center…wait no…what about a little fountain? Between the pavers, I finally got forget-me-nots to seed themselves. There’s no grass or English ivy trying to muscle in. The Shasta daisies have not eaten the calla lilies and the pilgrim rose is blooming its lemon-scented head off. Someone has repaired the fence too – in my fantasy it wasn’t me – and
this year my moonflowers and my hyacinth beans both came up and they’re wrapping themselves around the yellow roses. Those purple flowers of the hyacinth bean are perfect against the lemon yellow during the day and at night the roses and moonflowers look almost phosphorescent in the moonlight.
The gardenia by the crepe myrtle in front garden by the bird bath has magically resurrected itself; it smells wonderfully tacky and sweet in the warm breezy air and those rocking chairs I’ve always wanted are on the porch, painted and stuffed with pillows. The hydrangeas are blooming in spite of their winter beating and my Shropshire Lad English rose has finally decided to put on leaves and climb the porch.
The chickens have politely quit digging up the roses and the catmint by the pergola and it is covered in roses. Also there are no weeds in the pebbles underneath. The peach trees are covered in fruit, the butterfly bushes hold out twiggy arms full of blooms and butterflies. The sweetheart rose on the arbor has decided to bloom this year and the four-o-clocks that I planted from seed have finally hit their stride. They push against the massive lantana, the biggest I’ve ever grown.
I have managed to plow a large bed in the back meadow just for sunflowers and they spend their days gracefully turning toward the sun…and look! Just next to the sunflower garden. There it is. My greenhouse. It’s iron and glass, simple but elegant. It’s full of annuals that I started from seed and exotic plants that I wanted to winter over; it’s large enough to have a little space in front for a table and chairs. I think there should be a pebble path leading to it from the pergola and it should be lined with herbs. Why not? This is a fantasy.
You should come visit my imaginary garden. It’s February. And I would love to visit yours or your imaginary house by the beach or share with you whatever gets you through this pointless, pointless month.