Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Surviving Winter

Winter is a difficult season for me. I don't like the cold.... it hurts my hands and makes my nose run. My asthma acts up and I seem to spend the entire season with a cough and a head cold. Winter is not just uncomfortable for me -- it's downright painful. Being a gardener I complain all winter long about how miserable I am (poor Andy he puts up with this day after day so patiently) and how I long for the frozen earth to become soft again so that some sign of life will show itself. Although I love where I live, it's winter that makes me yearn for a home in a warmer climate where gardening is a year-round activity.

Now if I were rich I could have one of these....



What you see above is the huge indoor courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston, Massachusetts. While this courtyard is part of a museum, it was also once part of the home of Isabella Stewart Gardner.



Isabella Stewart was born in New York City on April 14, 1840. She married John ("Jack") Lowell Gardner Jr. of Boston on April 10, 1860. Isabella Stewart Gardner had a zest for life, an energetic intellectual curiosity and a love of travel. Isabella Stewart Gardner, known also as "Mrs. Jack" in reference to her husband, was one of the foremost female patrons of the arts. She was a patron and friend of leading artists and writers of her time, including John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Henry James. She was a supporter of community social services and cultural enrichment. She was also the visionary creator of what remains one of the most remarkable and intimate collections of art in the world today.

The Gardner Museum and home is a warm bright spot all year round, but especially in winter where the lush greenery of the courtyard provides a welcome respite from the cold streets of Boston.




Looking at this courtyard I can imagine that if I were rich enough to afford such a luxury I could easily survive winter in New England. How grand would it be to escape to such a lovely place and be transported away from the frigid air just outside its doors? Gardening all winter long as birds fly by and others chirping in the palm trees would be pure heaven... *sigh* to dream.




As I look out my window and see nothing but frozen ground and many feet snow... the garden beds not even visible, but sleeping beneath a blanket of white... I dream of spring and of warmer times ahead. The indoor bulbs are blooming, the seeds catalogues are being dog-eared, and soon I'll be watching my indoor sprouts grow. But for now the warmth of our fireplace and cuddling up with my love and our little Ellie will provide me with much comfort and joy.

15 comments:

Darla said...

These are beautiful!! Prayerfully winter will be a little milder from here on out..feel better.

tina said...

Hi Jackie, A very Happy New Year to you, even if it is a bit cold. We'd never appreciate the sun and warmth and heat if it didn't get cold so I guess some is okay. Hang tough. Spring is near. It looks like spring inside your house. That amarylis is splendid. I hope you and hubby had a great holiday season with Ellie Mae. It seems they pass so quickly sometimes. But trust me, spring is near.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a beautiful place! It must get to be a long winter when you can't even see the grass. I remember last winter feeling that way a lot, we had quite a bit of snow that year. Hopefully your indoor gardening will help the time pass quickly.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Jackie~~ My sister lives in eastern Oregon, Zone 5, compared to my Zone 8 abode. She tells me she's gotten used to the cold. I know you should never say never, but I seriously doubt I could handle the frigid weather. Unless, of course I could get chummy with Mrs. Gardner.

At least you're making good use of the plant catalogs. Stay warm.

Elsa said...

I am tired of the Winter too and longing for the Spring to come.
We have had a very strong Winter so far in January. Snow and temperatures changing between -26,5°C and -13,0°C.
In the meantime I read seedskatalogs and ordering seeds on internett.

Have a nice day.

Hope my English isn't too bad. I am not used to write in English.

Kathleen said...

Happy New Year from me too Jackie! I would absolutely feel better about winter if I had such a place to retreat to in winter ~ even a smaller conservatory would help. This one is fabulous. I would spend every hour I could there ~ pretending it wasn't winter outside! I am a non-winter lover too, as you can tell. Your amaryllis are beautiful tho ~ their beautiful blooms help get me thru winter so much. Hang in there, spring will come... At least that's what I tell myself!

Skeeter said...

Hang in there, I know Spring is just around the corner! Maybe if I were rich, I would have a winter, spring, summer and fall home in the perfect setting! Ha, think big I always say....

Hope you feel better soon! Keep that cute Ellie warm.....

RainGardener said...

I'm with you Jackie, I enjoy very little about winter because I'm freezing the whole blasted season! Bob listens to me complain about the cold. He's good about it too.
Spring will be here in 65 days!!!

sweet bay said...

If I was that riched and lived in the Northeast, I think I'd fly south for the winter!

I can just stand NC winters and typically they're nothing. (Cold makes my nose run too, it drives me crazy. I have to carry Kleenex everywhere.)

CiNdEe said...

The cold gets my asthma going to.
I enjoy just looking out the window at the cold rain and knowning I am warm inside my home(-: Jack helps keep me warm too(-:

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Thanks for sharing photos and story. I also am awaiting spring.

Toni said...

I lived all but the last 6 years 10 miles north of Boston (in Melrose)... yet I never did make it to that museum...

How sad for me!!!!

It would be so fun to have an indoor garden like that!!!!

May the warm weather of spring find you! And... may a true summer be had in New England this year!!!!

Sending you hugs from Wyoming!

Darla said...

Thanks for your comment on my Medical Update post. Are you saying that when your hear begins to beat rapidly, you cough and it slows back down? I am still a little nervous that it may do it again..the Doc said take a deep breath, bare down, exhale with a cough sound right?

Darla said...

Thanks again...I have noticed that it is better to stay busy and NOT think about my heart racing. The postassium must be kicking in because I feel just wonderful today!

Carol said...

What a great post Jackie... with exception to your suffering from asthma. I love this museum. The winter is trying at times... a lovely warm day today. Hope you are feeling well. I should love even a tiny house in some warmer climate. ;>) Carol