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Quote of the Day: Katherine S. White

December 19th, 2010

“From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens:
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind’s eye.”
Katherine S. White


When I read this quote I just loved it. I thought about my three gardens. The garden outdoors is covered in snow, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is growing. I’ve got hoop houses protecting some greens and I just harvested some beets last week.

The garden indoors thrives all year long, but it’s even more lush in the winter. I have a corner of the basement filled with pots of herbs, fig trees and other tender plants. My living room looks like a greenhouse at the moment, it’s brimming with dwarf citrus and other tropicals as is the floor in front of my sliding glass doors in the dining room. I just bought a beautiful little jade plant at the farmer’s market last week for my dining room table. One of the things I love about indoor plants is that they help keep the air clean. No spending money on air cleaners.



The garden in my mind’s eye thrives after the holidays are over. I’ve been getting seed catalogs in the mail (is it me or do they come earlier every year, soon we’ll be getting them in August). I don’t look at these quite yet, I stow them away for those dark days in January.

I actually enjoy the down time winter offers for the northern gardener. I spend a lot of time during the winter months reading gardening books, learning more about organic gardening and soil buildings, dreaming of new plants while flipping through glossy gardening books and trying to figure out what new and interesting vegetables I’ll be growing this coming season.

How are you three gardens doing?

17 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Katherine S. White”
  1. Rene' Sharp on December 19, 2010 at 5:57 am

    What a lovely post, really enjoyed reading it!! :)
    Rene’ Sharp´s last post ..New Release – Background by Design 2

    Reply to Rene’ Sharp's comment

  2. Kaytee on December 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

    My three gardens…are not really there. The outside one is completely under snow with nothing growing. I only have one house plant (although, I do plan to get a citrus plant or two). And I haven’t really thought about next year yet!
    Kaytee´s last post ..Snowing in Upstate NYGO FIGURE!

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

    • Susy on December 23, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Citrus trees make great houseplants. I find that they do surprisingly well in my cold dark house during the winter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Vegetable Garden Cook on December 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I’m going crazy. I’m ready for spring!
    Vegetable Garden Cook´s last post ..Nutella chocolate-hazelnut butter–from scratch

    Reply to Vegetable Garden Cook's comment

  4. Mary W on December 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I need to visit my outside garden–it’s at work, not at home. As is my inside garden–my home cat eats anything green, so I have nice clean air at work. My mind’s eye garden is getting better. I found some great information on drip irrigation with rain barrels, so I’m really excited about next season.

    Reply to Mary W's comment

    • Susy on December 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

      That’s very exciting, we thought about setting up a drip irrigation system with our rain barrels when we went on vacation, but ended up running out of time.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Terry on December 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I have a nice collection of succulents that are inside for the winter. I also have a lemon verbena that I love, the leaves smell so fresh!
    Terry´s last post ..Lilacs

    Reply to Terry's comment

    • Susy on December 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Succulents make such great houseplants! I’m hoping to acquire a few more of them over the coming years. I just need to meet people that have them since I prefer gathering starts from friends to buying new plants. I love plants with history!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Kelly on December 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    My outside garden isn’t bare, but near enough. This year we just didn’t have the organization for fall/winter gardening. The indoor garden is.. well, as pathetic as always. I’m terrible with indoor plants! The garden in my mind, though, is waiting patiently for the holidays to finish. I garden there when I have a spare minute (or the newest seed catalogue arrives), and I’ve planned quite a bit for how things are going to go. The loose planning that doesn’t have the realities of budget or labour hours around to dim it’s magnificence. I love it like this!
    Kelly´s last post ..Cookie Monsters

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  7. misti on December 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Since I am still a vagabond for the most part I can only dream of a garden again. I try to ignore looking at seeds, though I dream of tomatoes…oh, tomatoes. It is the season for them in Florida, if I were there.

    Some day soon we’ll have a garden again and I can have my three gardens.
    misti´s last post ..Of Sycamores and Endings

    Reply to misti's comment

  8. Ruth on December 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I am new to gardening and somehow never thought about the fall clean up – so it came as a bit of a shock when everything died and I had to figure out what to do with all of the pots and dirt – yesterday I finally made some progress on that. My mom says I should cover my pots over winter so the dirt won’t get wet? Is that necessary?

    Yesterday the snow melted – then it rained – then by evening it was snowing again! I was surprised to see my strawberries on the balcony still had green leaves! I wonder if they are still alive? Or did they just freeze quickly before losing their green color? Should I pull them up?

    Reply to Ruth's comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 10:20 am

      You probably should bring the pots in or move them into a garage or covered area. If the soil gets wet and freezes it will expand and may break the pot, especially if it is terracotta. You may not have trouble with plastic pots. If you’re planning on storing them outside you can allow them to dry out and cover so they don’t get wet with snow or rain.

      You can cut the leaves off the strawberries and cover with some straw or pine needles to protect the crowns. They should regrow in spring unless they get too cold, not sure what zone you’re in.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. alecia on December 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Enjoyed the post and the pictures.

    Brought int tender plants- citrus and forcing some hyacinth and amaryllis for winter months. Christmas cactus right on schedule.

    Roses still blooming outdoors and my first experiment with winter gardening-thanks to you- brussell sprouts- are doing nicely.

    Planning seeds to order for next year- do you have carrot varieties you esp like- need to review your archives for that soon. Oh and counting back the weeks from last frost date to start seeds.
    alecia´s last post ..Under the Mistletoe

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    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

      I haven’t had great luck with carrots here, but at my mom’s I grew a variety of heirlooms from Baker Creek that tasted pretty good (the voles got many of them like my sweet potatoes). If you like a big chunky carrot the ‘Oxheart’ is a really great one, I’m not sure which companies sell it. Seed Savers has a great small collection of carrots as well, ‘Danvers’ is pretty good. The thing about carrots is that they seem to be more of a localized thing. Some carrots will taste great in your soil, some may not, you’ll have to try a few varieties until you find a few you really like and do well in your soil.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Donna B. on December 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    What adorable beets! Mmm… how I crave something fresh from the garden right now…

    Outside garden is kaput – the greenhouse/extra large cold frame I had planned to get covered before it got too cold here probably won’t happen till the spring [partially from laziness, sigh.]
    The garden inside is well… surviving. I have a jade plant too! I love those “water once a week and ignore” plants… except the Snake Plant and a Sago Palm I wanted to repot and bring inside got ignored, and has now been exposed to a couple of freezing nights, I think they’re dead. I think I saved the Elephant Ears tho… it’s sitting in my basement.
    The garden in my head is mythical, and probably will never come to truth.

    I received my garden catalogs too [not that Southern Exposure one! I shall have to inquire about that one!] isn’t the Baker Creek one just GORGEOUS? I love the tomato photo the most…

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  11. Grant on December 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that the new Bakers Creek Catalog is GREAT!

    Reply to Grant's comment

  12. Yvette Ball on December 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    What adorable beets! Mmm… how I crave something fresh from the garden right now… Outside garden is kaput – the greenhouse/extra large cold frame I had planned to get covered before it got too cold here probably won’t happen till the spring [partially from laziness, sigh.] The garden inside is well… surviving. I have a jade plant too! I love those “water once a week and ignore” plants… except the Snake Plant and a Sago Palm I wanted to repot and bring inside got ignored, and has now been exposed to a couple of freezing nights, I think they’re dead. I think I saved the Elephant Ears tho… it’s sitting in my basement. The garden in my head is mythical, and probably will never come to truth. I received my garden catalogs too [not that Southern Exposure one! I shall have to inquire about that one!] isn’t the Baker Creek one just GORGEOUS? I love the tomato photo the most…

    Reply to Yvette Ball's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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