December 16, 2010

They sleep, then creep, then leap

I’ve been in survival mode for the past few days. With highs in the single digits above zero Fahrenheit, the idea of venturing out into the garden has been the last thing on my mind. So I’m living vicariously through fellow bloggers' posts, and thoughts of warmer days.

Every year about this time, I seriously wonder why I live in this northern climate. Of course, the reason is that most of my family and friends are here. So every year, I muddle through, curse the cold and treacherous commutes, and live for those glorious days in late spring when zone 5 Midwestern gardens are among the most impressive in the world.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about garden sayings that help us remember little tips about plant care. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap (referring to ground cover perennials).
  • Pinch mums until the fourth of July.
  • Grow a large plant in a small pot.
  • God made rainy [and snowy and cold] days so gardeners could get their housework done.
  • Tickle the earth with a hoe, it will laugh a harvest.

I also ran across some excellent gardening quotes at Northern Gardening. Can you think of other garden sayings and quotes that help you cope with inclement weather and remember little wisdoms about plant care? Please share.


  1. A popular saying here due to the popularity of community gardens is "Plant a garden, Plant hope." Stay warm in Wisconsin and before you know spring will be here. That is a lovely view of your garden. I really like the low growing plant along the edge of the woods. Have a great holiday season.

  2. Tina: Great saying. I sure believe in it! I think the low-growing plant you're seeing is Pachysandra. Happy Holidays!