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February Slump
Photo: Diego Cervo
Although February is the shortest month of the year, it mysteriously seems to be the longest. Actually, for those of us who live in cold areas, it's not mysterious at all. The truth is, by the time February comes around, winter has become rather old. The beauty and charm of the first snows have passed, and winter holidays have come and gone. February is the month that carries both the lingering of winter and the hope of spring.

Seed companies know all about the February slump. That's may be why they send their catalogs in the mail long before anyone can really plant anything. They know that in the cold of winter, there burns the potential of things to come. Daffodils will spring from the recently frozen ground. Slush will give way to grass. And bare trees will produce buds just waiting to burst forth.

Still, spring will not arrive until it is ready. And the wait can seem like forever, especially for people who suffer with seasonal depression. But there are some things you can do while you're waiting for that beautiful spring thaw.

Things to Do
  • Get those seed catalog out. Dog-ear the pages of plants that interest you. Circle and highlight and underline! Choose something you've never grown before. If you don't have a garden plot, think about an indoor herb garden or some patio plants.
  • Go to your local greenhouse and take some deep breaths of the soil-soaked air. Look through their plant books and ask some questions about healthy soil, plants, and bugs for your garden or patio. Maybe even bring home a house plant or start some seeds indoors.
  • Go online and learn how to create a wildlife habitat in your own yard. That can be as little or big of a project as you like. A great place to learn more about this kind of project can be found at www.nwf.org. If you don't have room to do this at home, think about volunteering to do it somewhere else. Even a small area with flowers that attract much-needed honeybees could be a great project.

Embrace the idea that without the lingering winter, you would never know the joy of spring. Spring will arrive, but until it does, embrace the time of anticipation.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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