Ask Dr. Bleedingheart

Bleeding Heart BlossomsDear Dr. Bleedingheart,

Help!  It’s February and I’m going crazy!  The days are short, the sky is grey, and the garden is buried under dirty, slushy snow.  I’ve become so irritable and downtrodden myself that even my best friends can’t stand to be around me.  Winter has seriously gotten me down.  Do you have any ideas for helping frustrated gardeners get through the long, dismal winter?



Dear Snowbound,

As it happens, I do have a suggestion for gardeners who are feeling weighed down by the short, gloomy days of February.  It’s called Puerto Vallarta.  Seriously, honey, pack your bags and get out of town.  It’s warm down there, the bougainvillea is blooming, and the papaya trees are fruiting. What you need is a margarita and a beach chair.

You thought I was going to suggest that you read a seed catalog or force some paperwhite bulbs indoors, didn’t you?  No! Screw the seed catalogs. If this were 1910 I’d be telling you to read a seed catalog and sprout a bulb on a windowsill.  But this isn’t 1910, is it?  We live in a modern era of cheap jet travel, and for this we should be grateful.  Find yourself a recession-friendly travel package to Mexico, Hawaii, or even Miami.  Throw a mystery novel and a sarong in a bag, and go to a place where they’ve got real plants in bloom.  Life is short; avail yourself of the pleasures of the tropics. Trust me, you won’t regret it.  Gather ye coconuts while ye may.

Amy StewartAmy Stewart is the author of From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, and the New York Times bestsellers Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers and Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. Find more from her at Garden Rant.

Submit your own horticultural question to Dr. Bleedingheart by emailing it to: katie [at] algonquin [dot] com


3 Comments On This Post:

February 23, 2010
2:41 pm
Genevieve says...

That’s totally what I need on a rainy day – margaritas, warmth, and fresh papayas. Sounds like a plan!

I think the budget’s calling for seed catalogs by my 1910 fireplace, though!! That’s one plus in the “staying home” column – kittens and a fireplace!

February 24, 2010
7:27 pm
Bracey Tiede says...

Come to California! The daffies are up, the natives are in full bloom and the citrus are ripe for the picking. Rainy but warm days, gorgeous sunny days!

December 3, 2010
12:53 am
Cafe Furniture says...

the travel packages that i have seen on the internet are sometimes oversold, they are cheap yet the inclusions sucks .’;

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