Night gardening

Here we are in the early moments of January and while I relish these winter days for hibernation and reflection, I can’t help but fill my thoughts with what’s to come for the new garden season. These thoughts are of course influenced by seed catalogs (thanks Barbara!) and the fact that I just dug up the dahlia tubers on the 4th of January! All in good shape I might add…except for those that met the mean end of the shovel. Oops. While I started this task in the light of afternoon, it soon became clear that I would be finishing as that light began to fade and quickly as it will in winter. Once again, on the verge of night gardening!

If you have ever found yourself in the midst of a project as the lights are going dim (gardening wise, of course), you know the joys and treacheries of this type of insanity, I mean gardening. As the light diminishes, the brain kicks into high gear and one no longer ponders what needs to be done, one just DOES IT! This can be refreshing as I know for myself I spend a good deal of time second guessing, when the first guess was fine in the first place.

The sights and sounds seem to rearrange at night as well. I notice the street noises and lights and the people sounds more instead of the birdsong and the sun of day. The greens are deeper and the reds and purples fade into the gray a bit while the white flowers glow and new scents fill the air.

Photo of the Moon flower from John K.’s garden

Even now, after the solstice as I visit the garden and my cold frame covered greens, often in the late afternoon, the change from light to dark is quite abrupt (and cold!) so I must admit I prefer the long and lingering light of the warmer months (though I am very thankful to have a garden to visit, mid-winter, in the dark). Not to mention the curious looks from our garden cats (winter or summer), no doubt peeved that someone is observing their antics after dark and tripping the motion sensor light on the shed. Serious cat secrets no human should observe…their words, not mine.

If you’ve never stayed to play in your garden after dusk, I highly recommend it, if not to garden then just to observe. It’s a whole new world.

Photo of Brugmansia,  Angel’s Summer Dream

– Gwyn MacDonald

2 Responses to “Night gardening”

  1. BarbM says:

    Your observations on the garden cats reminds me of a favorite haiku:

          after lights out

                the cat

                finding things to do…

  2. carolyn s says:

    The night gardening item is wonderful. I often wonder what the cats do after dark. the garden is then only theirs.