January, and the flowers have finally faded from the garden. There are one or two alyssums still blooming and a broccoli plant that’s gone to flower, but that’s about it. The pair of hummingbirds that hung out all November and December have made themselves scarce. But despite the lack of color, things couldn’t be more thrilling outside. Winter solstice is such an exciting turning point in the garden. It’s still cold, and the nights are still long, but if you take a closer look at the shrubs and trees, you can see that their new buds have appeared as if overnight. Spring is coming quickly, and the plants are racing to get ready for it.
Besides pruning and weeding (which I could do a bit more of!), I’m working to plan what I’ll be planting this spring. I have a plum tree on order at Raintree Nursery, which should come in late January or so. I’m really excited about getting some plums in the yard–I grew up with a plum tree in the family orchard, and I really miss stuffing my face with sweet, juicy plums! I’m also browsing my favorite seed catalogs to see what I want to order. I have a ton of seeds leftover from last year, but I’m out of my favorite variety of kale (Beira Tronchuda, also known as Portuguese Kale — so tender and delicious!), so I know I’ll be ordering a few things. I’m redesigning all my beds to make the yard a bit prettier, so I know I’ll have my hands full this spring.
I’m particularly happy because this year my daughter wants to manage her own plot in the garden! As a plant nerd, veggie fiend, and all-around tree-hugger, there’s just no better feeling than to know your kiddo has picked up the plant bug. I can’t wait to see what she decides to grow.