Monday Opinion: Diversion

January is by no means my most favorite month.  Being outdoors requires a level of intestinal fortitude I just don’t have.  I dislike the cold.  I dislike the garden- dead to the world.  I hate the relentless gray.  My spirits can be the same color as that sky-gloomy.  A little self-made diversion can help.  The first step is to alleviate that cold.  My boots and slippers alternate on the radiator, so I have warm feet for at least some part of every day. Buck likes an overnight temperature in the house of 64 degrees.  Really.  I have recently added an extra blanket on my side.  I indulge in a hot bath at least once a week, both January and February. I pile on the clothes.  On occasion I keep my coat on all day.  When my winter headband is not on my head, it is around my neck.  Sometimes I wear them in multiples.

I drink lots of coffee, and load it up with half and half. Hot and frequent meals are good, even though getting those January pounds off in late March gets harder every year.  Though I have no interest whatever in cooking, I love reading about food in January.  Reading about food is a much better plan for me than eating, though sometimes I will add a cupcake to that hot cup of coffee.  My favorite place to read online about food is 66 Square Feet.  Her writing is superb, so I am sure what she cooks is every bit as good.  She makes the story of a salad concocted from foraged roadside greens exciting, and satisfying.  The food she prepares with its roots in her South African heritage-it all sounds delicious, not just exotic.  Sustaining.  It just so happens that she gardens as well-what’s not to like about this part?   Her writing is consistently thought provoking and entertaining- her life and times quite interesting.

Reading is an excellent winter diversion.  If I am reading about gardening in January, I like to either be entertained, or transported-or both.  The Garden Outlaw is highly entertaining, sometimes provocative.  His blog post about Christmas lights was incredibly funny.  His take on the gardening world will make you forget that it is January.    If I am looking for a little transport, a tour of an English garden via the Galloping Gardener ( can be just the diversion I need.  I have taken her tours more than one time-they are that good.  The blog Rock Rose ( features a garden so unlike my own that I am transported.  She travels to visit all sorts of other gardens, and is very good at illustrating and writing about her visits.

Any garden reading which is either too involved or too serious makes me sleepy in January.  I am only looking at the pictures in Gardens Illustrated now.  I will read it later in February, when that cooped up feeling gets good and fierce.

I highly recommend an afternoon nap as a perfect January diversion.  It is a very good time to be dreaming about that garden to be.







  1. January is not my favorite month, but I find February to be dreadful. I love the idea of an afternoon nap dreaming of the coming Spring garden season. I can’t wait to smell that soil again. Winter is way too long in Michigan.

  2. do you not have a woodstove or fireplace?!? if not, I am completely surprised!
    that is the ONE thing that makes the biggest difference in getting through the winter.
    Its inspiring, renewing, warming…………. I could go on (&on). It would solve almost
    every issue mentioned in your blog today. There is almost nothing as beautiful as
    a nice big stack of wood waiting outside the door. Or in the back corner of the yard
    waiting for next year. Nothing warms to the bone marrow like wood heat. The energy
    it creates in the room/house is for dreaming and restoration. The peace of mind
    that comes from knowing – no matter what happens- you will always stay warm,
    be able to boil water and cook some food. Storms taking out electricity be damned!
    Opps, have to go – and put another log on the fire.

  3. I have dozens of pairs of fingerless gloves in all colors, fibers and degrees of thickness. Keeping my hands warm while I read, putter or am at the computer is critical to me in cold weather. I love Rock Rose and am always amazed at the garden she’s created in Texas after coming from that English background. She must have the gardening gene!

    • Deborah Silver says

      I love her blog too-absorbing. She has a hand with her garden that is gifted, I think. I may have to try some of those fingerless gloves-I’ve never had a pair. Do you have a favorite? I hate having cold hands. -4 degrees this morning-sheesh.

  4. Deborah — I don’t have a favorite. A number of years ago they were a punk fashion on campus and you could buy them cheaply in many colors and weights, usually wool but almost always not scratchy. Now I don’t have a specific source and just keep my eyes open. Found some at the grocery coop that are heavier and come up higher on the fingers so you could use them outdoors on a not too cold day. Comfy but not good for taking notes and holding a pen. Found some hand-crocheted styles (brand: Nanci’s Fancies) at my botanic garden shop that are much lighter and dressier. So it seems like they pop up in expected and not-so-expected places.

  5. I am always inspired by your musings. Though it is only raining in California, a few new blogs to read are appreciated. So wish I could visit your amazing store!

    • Deborah Silver says

      One gardener’s snow is another gardener’s rain-same situation! The blog is one way that people far away can visit. After all, I visit other places because people write and post pictures.

Leave a Reply to LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD Cancel reply