How I Banish Winter Blahs

Everyone in the north gets pretty bedraggled by the end of January. We’ve already coped with 2 months of winter proper, and only have February and March to look forward to, months often filled with snow storms, slush and bitter cold.

Even though this January in Toronto was ridiculously warm, with rain some days, and no snowfall to speak of, the cityscape at the moment is dreariness personified. Everything is brown, brown, brown. Or grey, grey, grey. It’s enough to get you down, down, down.

All we want to do is garden! I hear my friends cry out, often. Seed catalogues can help us get through this bleak time, but something actually growing can really lift the spirits.

I went out in search of hyacinths, a surefire mood booster and harbinger of spring. The ones I found were a bit past it, and I found a chirpy looking miniature rose which I took home instead.

Yes, miniature roses aren’t going to last in my sunny windowsill. I know they can develop spider mite very easily, and yes, mini roses have none of that lovely rose smell. And they aren’t really indoor plants at all. But this particular one looked like a tiny version of some antique roses I’ve been drooling over for years. It charmed me into taking it home.

Even if I get two weeks of enjoyment out of this one, it’s worth it to have on my windowsill for now. And you never know, maybe it will live till spring, and I can plant it in my allotment garden. I hear mini roses are very hardy. At any rate, this little cutie is cheering me up on this bleak January day.


  1. Whatever gets you through the night, er make that the winter, Helen. The little roses are so sweet, we are often tempted as well. Thank goodness the grocers is well stocked for Valentine's Day. Primroses keep hopping into the cart each trip. πŸ™‚

  2. Funny (not funny ha-ha, funny peculiar) that you had a warmer than usual January and ours was colder than necessary.

    Mini roses are so delicate looking, but quite sturdy. Plant it out no matter if it gets shabby. It should revive once in the ground. I have to force myself past tiny roses and colorful primroses in the markets, reminding myself of the budding hyacinths on the window sill at home.

  3. I can't resist these roses when I see them either, Helen. Though at the moment there's lots blooming in my office so I'm a happy camper, for the most part. I wish I could nurture the roses longer too, but they just seem predestined to have a short lifespan indoors, and I rarely have enough patience to get them through til late spring when I can put them outdoors.

  4. Sarah must be working or out on puppy duty, so I'll quickly note that these pretty roses are sitting on her windowsill, not mine. (Sarah gifted me with a lovely little cyclamen instead!) That's the trouble with being a tag-team of bloggers – one of us sometimes gets credit for the other's work.

    Hope you're all keeping warm and thinking springy thoughts. Thanks for dropping by our uncharacteristically un-wintery Toronto Gardens.

  5. Sarah it's very pretty and it's cheering me up too. The Narcissus I forced, have finished blooming so I'm on the lookout for something colourful, to brighten the dull greyness outside, as well.

  6. Gail, yes, it is wonderful to have fresh cut flowers in the house but they don't always fit in the budget, and they tend to droop quickly in my overheated apartment. If I can find a plant that will live on, it's easier to justify the purchase.

    Not that I'm not looking forward to seeing some tulips in my spherical glass vase in the months to come!

    Thanks, Carol, glad you liked the rose. Yes, Kathy, roses not fattening – another plus! Fairegarden, yes, whatever gets you through the winter. Thanks for the rose-planting encouragement, NellJean. After blooming, will put it on my sunporch till plant out time.

    And Hyacinths. Can't believe I still haven't come across a nice pot of those yet. I find the white ones have the most glorious scent. And I do plant mine outside afterwards in the spring.

    Jodi, I'd love to see your office, with everything you've got going on there.

    Miss. S., glad you liked the rose.

    Congrats on forcing Narcissus, Melanie. It's a skill, and you have to be so organized to do it.

  7. I love the color of the blooms…not quite red or pink. I can see why it reminds you of an antique rose. Any plant that brightens a winter's day is well worth it, even if it only survives for a short while.

  8. I'm with you, Sarah; indoor blooms are an important part of getting through a northern winter. I have an amaryllis that just started opening its buds today, and I'm expecting it to give me pleasure until mid-February at least. -Jean

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