Winter Blacks

Dead HouseplantI don’t get sick. At least I didn’t get sick until this past week when I had the flu. Holy shit, is the flu a real endgame for things like working and playing and it puts a damper on breathing and a sex life as well. You can do both when you have the flu, but neither is all that enjoyable.

I can just put down the flu as one more reason why winter sucks. Cold, snow, no plants AND illnesses that make you wish you were dead. It is a wonder that anyone lives where it gets cold at all.

I am missing my garden so much right now. It is still a smidgen too early to start seeds, my houseplants are all dead, the weather here in Cleveland can’t decide if it wants to be record high or record low. Things just seem desperate.

I suppose that I could trot on down to the Home and Garden Show (because if I drove, I would have to pay $8 for parking even though there is NO WHERE ELSE TO PARK), but frankly the thought of having to trudge through a mile of As-seen-on-TV, how-did-you-live-without-it, buy-this-because-I-talk-with-an-accent garbage just to look at a half hearted attempt by a Home Depot manager of the month to create a whole new garden using every fertilizer and plastic lawn adornment known to man or at least for sale at Home Depot is enough to make me want to take a greenhouse hostage with a spray gun.

In case you could not tell, I am in a foul mood. I don’t have the winter blues. I have the winter blacks. Screw you, Winter, and the damn horse you rode in on too.   I can’t wait for Spring.

29 thoughts on “Winter Blacks
  1. I’m really through with winter, too. I have gotten a few seed catalogs in the mail in the last week, and the longing for spring is nearly unbearable. I dealt with flu/bronchitis for the entire month of November, so I can totally empathize.

    I hope you feel better very soon, and the next weeks fly by.


  2. If there were a pill that would put me into an entire winter’s hibernation, I’d take it!

    Wishing you better health soon…


  3. cloverann on

    Sorry you’ve been sick and the weather sucks. I think I know now why my father & mother left Ohio in 1950 and moved to Northern California…and I’m thankful. I don’t think I could survive the Winter Blacks.
    And, yes, I do feel guilty that I’m able to garden all year long. But I always lust for your forests of deciduous trees, peonies, huge hostas, huge most other perennials, rainy summers and that lush green look.


  4. In the words of Bill Clinton, “I feel your pain.”

    I’m over winter, but it’s not over. Ads have started to appear for the home & “garden shows here. I’d rather be IN a garden than a at garden show.

    Sorry about the sex thing too.


  5. Melanie on

    I had that flu thing a few weeks back, before that I had a cold. BAH HUM BUG! Feb. in OHIO sucks!!!!!!!!
    I don’t care for the home and garden show either. I have plenty of wintered over plants to keep me busy and hopeful for SPRING!!!
    Shaker Heights Gardener,


  6. I am with you -winter is much too long, and here in Utah we have one of the snowiest winters in recent memory, though we do need the snow/water. YOu oughta think about getting a flu shot, that is what us ‘little old ladies’ do!!


  7. I have a bad case of cabin fever too. But after reading your post I now have a big smile on my face.

    Screw you, Winter, and the damn horse you rode in on too.


  8. Hanna, I had to laugh when I read this post. Not because you’ve been sick – I’m really sorry about that. But because I have a blog post sitting in edit mode, where it’s been for the last week. It’s a rant about garden design. I wrote it when I was in one of those foul winter moods, too, and I know if I publish it, I will seriously p*** off so many people. That isn’t my intent, of course, but it’s how I felt when I wrote it (and still do, sort of).

    The title of it?


    And the tone of the article is – Wanna make something of it?

    That sort of tells the story, so now you know that I do feel your pain, too.



  9. I’m with you. Winter needs to go away – far away. Don’t get me started on Home Depot.

    Getting sick doesn’t help either. I hope you are better.


  10. I must be one of those weirdos who likes all seasons. I have already mentioned my penchant for snowshoeing, and I used to go winter camping. I’ve slept out as cold as -15! I haven’t done it in several years, but I did enjoy it for several years. I guess working outside all those years had an effect on me. I hope everyone feels better soon, and only 6 weeks to go!!


  11. Let’s all chip in a buy a house with some land in Florida.

    Sorry, but I did have to laugh when I read this. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    –Robin (Bumblebee)


  12. Hanna, I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett lately (as recommended by you) and it’s improved my mood considerably. Winter would be so much easier if I could just curl up with books and tea and never have to go anywhere and do anything else. 1 month and 12 days to go.

    Hope you’re feeling better!


  13. Bill Hogsett on

    Hanna, I am home sick and spending time looking at garden web sites. I live in Cleveland on the lake and I like all the seasons. The view out my window is ice, snow and gray, but I still love it.



  14. I’m getting tired of the cold weather myself. Too bad its supposed to be even colder this weekend. You bring up one of my pet peeves, Australian teevee pitchmen. Does the accent make a thirty dollar piece of plastic more attractive?


  15. Hanna on

    Robin – Thank goodness for seed catalogs! I hope you were not sick for too long, yourself.

    Village Green – Me too! and thanks, I am feeling better, at least health wise. 😉

    cloverann – I am jealous, but I suppose you are right. Winter does bring those things.

    Jim/ArtofGardening – Misery loves company.

    Melanie – I hope that your flu has all cleared up too. The H&G show in Cleveland is pretty lame, eh?

    Muum – Every year I scoff at a flu shot. Maybe not so much next year now that I actually got the flu. 😉

    wiseacre – Misery loves company and thanks for coming to the party 🙂

    Kylee – I hope you posted it. The gardening world is not all sugar and spice and we need the rants as much as the inspirational stories to make us think and grow. I will have to pop over to your blog to see if you have. Thanks for joining the Winter Sucks movement. 🙂

    kate – Home Depot = evil

    gus – I would love winter more if it was not for the cold. I can’t tolerate cold. thanks for the well wishes!

    Garden Neighbor – Knowing that does not make winter less miserable. Thanks for the good thought though. It is needed.

    Robin (Bumblebee) – Lovely idea! I’m in!

    entangled – He is great! Perhaps I will wander over to the library and pick up a few of his books to bring up my mood.

    Bill Hogsett – Thanks for stopping by! Each to their own, I guess. I hope you feel better soon.

    Gisele Schoene – Thanks! I will!

    Benjamin – Hehe. Maybe we do.

    Heavy Petal – Thanks!

    steven – I have no idea why ASOTV is now almost exclusivly pitched by Australians. It is kind of scary though.


  16. Hanna, Your just a tad emotional regarding the position we find ourselves on the calendar. And the Flu, I have found is mind over matter. You seem to want your hands around old man winter’s throat. As if he’s responsible for your chilly funk. Well, U R RIGHT! I know too! 1 bout of Frostbite, Korea style. Cures you of any romantic “Love Story” fantasies about winter-snow-lovey playful cold romps. And the flu (dealing with now) feeling as if “it dont matter if I stop minding about anything out side this blanket.” Which I rewrap around me every 4 hours or so. Just to prevent any hatch of a superbug, off of my dying ass. Hanna honey. Your poetic prose and deep seated revultion of “tHE cHILLY tIME” and unvarnished, straight away to the barn style of telling it. Has caused me to fall unretreavably into that deep-dark trench, on past that “Fondness” place. Where only the really been cold, Hotties have been. I’ll never be one of the knuckle draggers saying “Its not cold” “I like the 4 seasons” “I love winter?” No baby! You say its cold? I agree! Being sick sucks? I agree! You’ll run to the kitchen and fetch us 2 Guinness and the Jameson’s? I agree! Bring back the new seed and poultry catalogs that came in today? OK? Hope you feel better soon Babe, Donnie


  17. John H on

    Okay, all things being equal, today really sucks and gusts – weather wise. Frostbite Falls has come to the southern section of the northern tier, and cleveburg too..Oh. Today’s weather is where the Oh comes from in Ohio… It’s not just cold its windy. So windy what the heck are we doing out in this ?

    Does this mean we can really really say we are ready for spring ? Now we have something to contrast to those first wonderful days of spring…
    so instead of Oh!!!! it can be AHHHH!


  18. We are having a hard winter here in Maine, too. This morning, the temperature is 11º, and the driveway is icy. My husband has the flul and is grumpy, and I am tired of being in the house.
    Thank you for a new term -WINTER BLACKS! It goes so well with the gray days we have been having.

    Hope you feel better now. Spring is bound to come sooner or later, even to these northern states.


  19. Hey, just came across your blog! It’s so funny you mentioned the fluctuating weather; last week we had 78 degree highs here in VA, and now they’re talking snow! WTF? 🙂

    I did get my first bloom though, which give me hope. It’s a miniature iris and since I wrote about it, I had a few more bloom…you can check out the pic here if you want.–whoever-blooms-first-wins.aspx

    I hope you feel better; I hear the flu has hit pandemic proportions 🙁 Take care!


  20. Winter does not have to be so devoid of color. If you had suggested to others to visit the home and garden show, you would have found that the gardens there are not created by home depot managers, but instead are the products of some of the more well known landscaping companies in Cleveland. Some were actually quite nice. There were also gardening seminars by local experts that were very well received. You should visit the Cleveland Botanical Garden where the Orchid Mania show is on display until March 9. You’ll definitely get a reprise from winter there.


  21. Donnie Murrin – I hope you are feeling better! I will second the vote for Guinness and the Jameson’s to help the winter move along!

    John H – I am looking forward to that day too! Here’s to daylilies and tomatoes and the warm days that bring them.

    Sandy – Brrr… Too cold. You are right, Spring will come someday (just not soon enough).

    Crystal – Got to love those little irises. They bring so much cheer so early in the year. I am jealous of you.

    Kylee – You go! We need to shake up the gardening world a little more.

    Cynthia – Now, the Orchid Show is something I think I will go see. I do have to say, Cynthia, you guys run a world class operation at the Botanical Gardens and I never miss your garden show in the spring.

    I am a bit jaded by the Home & Garden Show at the IX Center. I went 2 years ago, and yes, there were a few (and I stress few) landscaping projects. But the show was dominated by ASOTV garbage booths. I spent the whole show very bitter and thinking “I paid around $20 dollars (ticket and parking) for this?!?!? I could have stayed at home and watched late night telivision for free.”

    Especially after I had the chance to go to the food show this past year. I walked away from that thinking “Wow! I only paid around $20 for all of this. What a deal!”

    The Home & Garden Show needs to offer a whole lot more for the visitors than they do. Right now, they are running a high priced ticket flea market and I will not be swayed to say any differently.


  22. Thanks for cheering me up. The Winter Blacks were just creeping in when I read your post, and it did me good that you spoke out your feelings so directly. Well, only a few weeks to go and we’ll all be digging in the soil with both arms again. (Sometimes when I pet our dog, one of her feet touches my nose filling it with that delicious scent of wet grass and dark soil — spring is near!)


  23. Hi Hanna,
    I feel for you Northerners, I really do. I’m in Sunny Florida and enjoyed a wonderful weekend out harvesting some Cypress seedlings for a bonsai project but… I’ve got the flu too……Waaaaaaaa.
    Rees Cowden


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