What’s Going on in the Winter Garden?

Just a Dead Zone. . . or Place of Active Resting?

We just published the Winter issue of Vegetable a Month, online magazine.  Here’s the cover:

Vegetable A Month, Winter Leeks Issue

The Winter Leeks Issue: Take a look around

We loved this picture for the Winter issue.  It was the brainchild of our Creative Director, Claudia Chang.  Of course she also took the prototype “Beautiful Leek Picture,” shown below.  But she was particularly fond of this picture because it did what good art is supposed to do:  help us think about the world in a different way.  In this case, leeks “growing” in the snow sparks a little wonderment:  What’s going on in the winter garden?

From the outside, certainly, things do look a bit dead.  And that’s usually how we talk about gardens in winter.  “Everything’s dead,” we say, as in “there’s nothing going on.”  In Nature’s terms, however, winter isn’t just a gap of nothingness, but a critical link between Autumn’s abundance and Spring’s vibrancy.  It is period of profound rest.

This thought was with me yesterday on a short winter hike.  Once the noise of the city was behind me, Winter’s quiet could be heard.  There I was on one of the most popular summer trails, with not a soul to be seen, just the rocks and trees stoically marking the time, dutifully standing guard over the deliberate rest taking place all around them.

Settling.  Deliberate resting. Recharging.  There’s a lot going on in a winter garden.  How about in your body’s “garden.”  This is a good time for rest and recharge there, too.

But spring is fast on the way, so don’t delay.  Stock up on winter rest before the heady days of spring arrive.

Beutiful Leeks Picture

Claudia's Beautiful Leek Picture

Claudia Responds:

Yes. . . gardens in winter are magical.  I’m reminded of “puja,” a tradition from Hindu and Buddhist thought, which has to do with honoring and devoting attention, often accompanied by offerings of good food and flowers.  Winter is a time for honoring the garden.  Give it time to rest.  Respect the work it is doing beneath the frozen surface.  Harbor no regrets for the last season or anxiety for the next.  Give to the garden because it gives so much back the rest of the year.

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