FROM WINTER TO EARLY SPRING
-A WALKTHROUGH IN THE GARDEN & STUDIO
The winter months leading to early Spring are the quietest and darkest months, where I often find myself looking out the window and staring at the sleeping garden. Dahlia tubers are dug out and stored away in early December after the first frost, and garden beds are mulched after plants are pruned. The only greenery I see are evergreen bushes, trees and some herbs I grow for foliage in designs.
In the studio, the winter months are also the slowest time of the year. The wedding season is over in the Fall, and my creative sessions are also slowed down to the bare minimal since I prefer using all materials from my garden or locally sourced in my creative work. Local evergreens and dried botanicals from the garden are often used during the winter.
So...what do I do during these quiet months aside from wedding inquires? This is when I rest and recuperate from the busy season. I spend lots of time learning as much as I could on anything related to gardening, and prepare for the growing season ahead. Lots of garden blog reads and How-to videos on YouTube. Lately I've joined a few local gardening Facebook groups (The only time I ever use Facebook) and received great insight and useful tips on various topics that I will definitely put to great use in the future. I've learned a great deal from all these sources and combined with some trial and errors, I would say the garden have become my pride and joy.
During the winter months, some of my favorite seed companies and nurseries open up pre-orders on their websites. This is when I look through my seed storage box to see what I need to order for the upcoming growing season. It's always super exciting to see new varieties being introduced and at the same time quite painful to see them sold out already. This is also when I place pre-orders for summer bulbs, bareroots, rose plants, helleborus, and other perennials. Going through the catalogs, looking up the varieties online to learn more about them, and going outside in the garden to see if I have room for them, is what keeps me from going insane in the cold depressing weather.
Early Spring we start to see signs of life in the garden. Spring bloomers like helleborus, bleeding hearts, snowdrops, and peonies are a delight to see as the buds and growth slowly emerge from the ground. During this time, I start preparations like pre-sprouting ranunculus corms and cold stratifying seeds that require them. It's also the time I take out my seed germination station from storage. The metal shelves, LED grow lights, seed trays, seed starters, labels, and small tools. The whole setup is placed in a corner of the studio. From there on, the countdown begins to the day I can start germinating seeds in early March.