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"I prefer winter and fall, when you
feel the bone structure in the
landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
- Andrew Wyeth
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"January is the quietest month in the
garden. ... But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening.
The soil, open to the
sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients
for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds
and bare roots to come."
- Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99
"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus
"If we had no winter, the spring would
not be so pleasant."
- Anne Bradstreet
"There is a privacy about it which no other
season gives you ..... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on
each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when
you can savor belonging to yourself."
- Ruth Stout
"The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty.
It fell and fell, lacing day and night
together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed
to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn."
- Patricia Hampl
"In the sheltered heart of the clumps last year's
foliage still clings to the
lower branches, tatters of orange that mutter with the passage of the wind,
the talk of old women warning the green generation of what they, too,
must come to when the sap runs back."
- Jacquetta Hawkes
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth."
- John Davies, 1570-1626, Ode to the West Wind
"The snow doesn't give a soft white
damn whom it touches."
- E. E. Cummings
"One kind word can warm three winter
- Japanese proverb
a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey,
and enjoy every idle hour. "
- John Boswell
"I've been a dweller on the plains,
have sighed when summer days were gone;
No more I'll sigh; for winter here
Hath gladsome gardens of his own."
- Dorothy Wordsworth, Peaceful Our Valley, Fair and Green
"The stag bells, winter
snows, summer has gone
Wind high and cold, the sun low, short its course
The sea running high.
Deep red the bracken; its shape is lost;
The wild goose has raised its accustomed cry,
Cold has seized the birds' wings;
Season of ice, this is my news."
- Irish poem, 9th Century
"The flowers of late winter and early
spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size."
- Gertrude S. Wister
"The winter comes: the frozen rut
Is bound with silver bars;
the white drift heaps against the hut;
and night is pierced with stars."
- Coventry Patmore
"Nature chose for a tool, not the
earthquake or lightning to rend and split
asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but the tender snow-flowers
noiselessly falling through unnumbered centuries."
- John Muir
"Lo! now the direful monster,
whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o'er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life."
- William Blake, Poetical Sketches - Winter, 1783
"Timeless thoughts of a winter’s stare;
eyes gazing over a landscape bare.
Memories drift on a blustery breeze;
dying light ushers in the freeze.
Reaching out for a grasp on the present;
stillness sets in, alone, and desolate.
Future unknown, outcome uncertain;
brilliance shadowed by a drawn curtain.
Path now set, laid before me known;
closing light now emanating from home.
Enter my homestead, heart filled with glee;
two eyes of the future peering upward at me.
Trusting in him to forge forward until fulfilled;
Basis of strength, values I have instilled.
A wary mind at last permitted to rest;
reflecting on the realization of how I am blessed.
- Michael A. Barron, Winter's Epiphany
"Winter is the time for comfort - it is the time for home."
- Edith Sitwell
"Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered,
and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."
- Plutarch, Moralia
"Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm tops, delicate as flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass."
- Edward Thomas
"There is no season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring."
- William Browne, Variety, 1630
"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
"The grim frost is at hand, when apples will
almost thunderous, on the hardened earth."
- D. H. Lawrence
"How can those who do not garden, who
have no lot in the great fraternity of those who watch the changing year as it affects the
earth and its growth, how can they keep warm their hearts in winter?"
- Francis King
"Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm !
Sing : Goddam."
- Ezra Pound, Ancient Music
man! Sow, naked man! Winter is farmer's lazy time.
In cold weather the farmers enjoy their gain for the most part
and they happily prepare feasts for each other.
Friendly winter is inviting and lightens their cares,
as when loaded boats at last reach port
and the happy sailors place crowns upon the sterns.
Still, then is the time to pick the oaken acorns,
the laurel's berries, the olive and the blood-red myrtle;
the time to set traps for cranes and nets for stags;
the time to chase the long-eared rabbits, to smite the does
as you whirl the thongs of a Balearic sling,
when the snow lies deep and the rivers push ice."
- Publius Vergilius Maro, Georgics, Book I, 299-
"Every gardener knows that under the
cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
- Barbara Winkler
"February is merely as long as is
needed to pass the time until March."
- Dr. J. R. Stockton
"The leafless poplars sway
A warm and windy Winter's day -
- Michael Garofalo, Cuttings
"If there were no tribulations, there
would be no rest;
if there were no winter, there would be no summer."
- St. John Chrysostom
"One must have a mind of
To regard the frost and boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and
not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves."
- Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man, 1923
memories and associations that our flowers give us are independent
of seasons or of age. They come to us as well in autumn and winter, in
and summer; and as to age, the older we get the more, from the very
nature of things, do these memories increase and multiply."
- Canon Ellacombe, In a Gloucestershire Garden, 1895
"At Christmas, I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's newfangled mirth;
But like each thing that in season grows."
- William Shakespeare
them all, all -
to paradise -
"In a way Winter is the
real Spring - the time when the inner things happen,
the resurgence of nature."
- Edna O'Brien
"Life is a series of little deaths out
of which life always returns."
- Charles Feidelson, Jr.
"One leaf left on a branch
and not a sound of sadness
or despair. One leaf left
on a branch and no unhappiness.
One leaf left all by itself
in the air and it does not speak
of loneliness or death.
One leaf and it spends itself
in swaying mildly in the breeze."
- David Ignatow
Vegetables and Melons
pounding rain -
only ghosts about"
- Michael Garofalo, Cuttings
"Sweet bird! thy bow'r is ever
Thy sky is ever clear;
thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year."
- John Logan, 1748 - 1788
"I believe that the beloved St. Nicholas, old St. Nick - Santa Claus, was the first saint recognized for the true miracles of generosity and compassion, rather than for martyrdom."
"Green thoughts emerge from some deep
source of stillness which the very fact of winter has released."
- Mirabel Osler
"Winter has caused
meadow and forest are all grey,
where before you heard many sounds.
If I could see the girls play ball on the street,
then bird song would come back.
If only I could sleep through the winter!
When I am awake I feel only hatred
that his power is so far and wide.
God knows, he even fights with May;
I picked flowers where there is now snow."
- Walter von der Vogelweide
"The crocuses and the larch turning green
every year a week before the others
and the pastures red with uneaten sheep's placentas and the long summer days
and the newmown hay and the wood pigeon in the morning and the cuckoo in the afternoon and the corncrake in the evening and the wasps in the jam and the
smell of grose and the look of the gorse and the apples falling and the children
walking in the dead leaves and the larch turning brown a week before the others
and the chestnuts falling and the howling winds and the sea breaking over
the pier and the first fires and the hooves on the road and the consumptive postman
whistling "The Roses are Blooming in Picardy" and the standard
oil-lamp and of
course the snow and to be sure the sleet and bless your heart the slush
and every fourth year the February debacle and the endless April showers and
the crocuses and then the whole bloody business starting all over again."
- Samuel Beckett, Watt
"'Tis not the season of
the leaf whose
fragile bodys broken veins
gusts of winds while
winter blows a frosty coat that
caps the barren land."
- Lucille Younger
"I frequently tramped eight or ten
miles through the deepest snow
to keep an appointment with a beech-tree,
or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."
- Henry David Thoreau
you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life."
"January cold and desolate;
February dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly,
August bears corn,
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December."
- Christina Giorgina Rossetti, The Months
"Gardening imparts an
organic perspective on the passage of time."
- William Cowper
"Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do - or
because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so."
- Stanley Crawford
"This is what I have heard
at last the wind in December
lashing the old trees with rain
unseen rain racing along the tiles
under the moon
wind rising and falling
wind with many clouds
trees in the night wind
- W. S. Merwin
"We go, in winter's biting wind,
On many a short-lived winter day,
With aching back but willing mind
To dig and double dig the clay."
- Ruth Pitter, The Diehards
"Through winter-time we call on
And through the spring on summer call,
And when the abounding hedges ring
Declare that winter's best of all:
And after that there's nothing good
Because the spring time has not come--
Not know that what disturbs our blood
Is but its longing for the tomb."
- W. B. Yeats
"The trees down the boulevard
stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt."
- D. H. Lawrence, Winter in the Boulevard
pictures on my
Windowpane last night --
Willow trees with trailing boughs
And flowers, frosty white,
And lovely crystal butterflies;
But when the morning sun
Touched them with its golden beams,
They vanished one by one."
- Helen Bayley Davis, Jack Frost
"As I write, snow is falling outside
my Maine window, and indoors all around me
half a hundred garden catalogues are in bloom."
- Katharine S. White
"Dead of winter.
Cold hands warm heart.
As pure as snow.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Now is the winter of our discontent.
Left out in the cold."
- Clichés for Gardeners
the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snow crystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one."
- Amy Lowell, A Winter Ride
"Still in bloom--
California flowers dance
to winter song"
- Victor P. Gendrano
the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms . .
. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weather-beaten
face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage
- William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1650
"Turn down the noise. Reduce the
speed. Be like the somnolent bears, or those other animals that slow down
and almost die in the cold season. Let it be the way it is. The magic is there in its power."
- Henry Mitchell
"The north wind
And we shall have snow,
And what will the dormouse do then,
Roll'd up like a ball,
In his nest snug and small,
He'll sleep till warm weather comes in,
- Traditional ballad, The North Wind Doth Blow
"Shed no tear - O, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more - O, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core."
- John Keats
"There is neither heaven nor earth
"All Nature seems at work.
Slugs leave their lair-
The bees are stirring - birds are on the wing -
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Work Without Hope
"Out in a world
of death far to the northward lying,
Under the sun and the moon, under the dusk and the day;
Under the glimmer of starts and the purple of sunsets dying,
Wan and waste and white, stretch the great lakes away.
Never a bud of
spring, never a laugh of summer,
Never a dream of love, never a song of bird;
But only the silence and white, the shores that grow chiller and dumber,
Wher'ever the ice winds sob, and the griefs of winter are heard.
Crags that are
black and wet out of the grey lake looming,
Under the sunset's flush and the pallid, faint glimmer of dawn;
Shadowy, ghost-like shores, where midnight surfs are booming
Thunders of wintry woe over the spaces wan."
- Wifred Campbell, The Winter Lakes
"One of my current pet theories is
that the winter is a kind of evangelist,
more subtle than Billy Graham, of course, but of the same stuff."
- Shirley Ann Grau
"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."
- Anton Chekhov
"The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn."
- John Davies. 1570-1626
"There are two seasonal diversions
that can ease the bite of any winter.
One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues."
- Hal Borland
"It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs."
- Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, 1923
"My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
"Feathered with hoarfrost,
skeletal trees loom closer;
fog shrouded arches."
- Paul Brown
Months and Seasons
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"There ought to be Gardens for all Months in the year, in which, severally, things of Beauty may be then in season."
- Sir Francis Bacon
"Winter is the season dominated by
bare soil: the whole gardening cycle begins with the care and preparation of the earth during winter so that it will feed plants the following year. One of the things I enjoy about digging (and there are lots of things I enjoy about it) is the smell of the earth that is released by the spade cutting in and lifting clods that have been buried for a year. Not only does the soil itself have a real scent, but the roots of the crop or plant - even weed - that has been growing there will also contribute to the mix, creating something new out of the
vague remnants of last season's garden.
- Monty Don, The Sensuous Garden, 1997
"the summer chair
rocking by itself
in the blizzard"
- Jack Kerouac
"Even in warmest
cold my shadow."
"To see a hillside white with dogwood bloom is
to know a particular ecstasy of beauty, but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds which
will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity."
- Hal Borland
"Gardener’s , like everyone else,
live second by second and minute by minute. What we see at one
particular moment is then and there before us. But there is a second way of
seeing. Seeing with the
eye of memory, not the eye of our anatomy, calls up days and seasons past and
years gone by."
- Allen Lacy, The Gardener’s Eye, 1992
"Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul's haven to have felt."
- George Meredith, Winter Heavens
the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
- Christina Rossetti, A Christmas Carol
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