Is February the worst month?
Happy New Year! Er, yeah, I know it is February but I neglected to get anything out to y'all in January. I was still in slow mode at that time, coming out of the holidays and general coziness of that time. January usually seems like such a long month but I feel like I blinked and it was gone this year. And now to get through February so we can get to the show we've all been waiting for, SPRING! In the last few days I've seen several memes on Instagram touting "Yay, we're leaving the second worst month of the year for the worst month of the year!" And it makes me wonder, do you hate February? I certainly didn't used to and I don't think I hate the entire month, but the first half? It's usually full of weather tricks for us here in Texas (see: February 2021). Here in Houston we are currently evading the ice storm that a good portion of the state received and instead it has been rainy and in the 30s. Not exactly inspiring weather for gardening. But I keep telling myself this is cold, moist conditions that are good for stratification and all of the seeds on my potting bench need this! I only hope I'm rewarded with germination come March!
In January we experienced some warmer weather which put our Chickasaw plums into bloom and some of the Texas ragwort into sending up bloom spikes. Last week I wandered the yard looking for basal rosettes of various native and non-native plants that come up in the spring. They are all there, patiently waiting for the right time to really get going. And it's coming, it's coming! We just need to make it through February.
A few things newsletter related:
I would really like to grow this newsletter more in the coming year but I'm not sure how to do that other than promoting it on the podcast. And because I did away with most of the social media specific to the podcast (except for YouTube, I'm still uploading there), I am not sure how to really grow it without having current readers share to their friends. I'm open to writing more than once a month, possibly a narrative or garden updates in addition to the newsletter issues I currently send out. I have also been putting this newsletter on Substack as well in hopes of catching a different audience there. If you have any input on what you'd like to see here, let me know. I am sure your inboxes are bombarded with enough newsletters as it is (mine are!) so maybe you'd prefer narrative stuff to be on Substack, or you don't care and you'll open them if you open them---let me know if you have any opinion! Or you are always free to drop by my blog and see what's going on there! Thanks!
Elsewhere in the Natural World...
+You Don't Have To Be Complicit In Our Culture of Destruction: Robin Wall Kimmerer in the NYT
+'A Shame': Texas may soon lose 1,800-acre state park on Fairfield Lake to developer: FW Star Telegram - I'm super riled up about this as we were just there in November and it's a place I used to with my family growing up.
+This lovely obituary for conservationist and botanist Geyata Ajilsvgi, who wrote several books about Texas wildflowers and was extremely knowledgeable about the state's flora and fauna.
+Looking Out in North Texas: I stumbled across this blog the other day and have been enthralled! Lots of delightful North Texas naturalist writings!
+Defend the Atlanta Forest
+Little Turtle's War: About the death of Manuel Teran in the Atlanta Forest last month via Bitter Southerner
Finally, as always, if you enjoyed this newsletter and would like your fellow gardeners to know about it, forward it on and encourage them to subscribe!
+My Top 2 Garden and Nature Books for 2022!
+Herbariums, Botanizing New Jersey, and Ecosystems as Backdrops with Bonnie Semmling
+Native Plant Gardening in Austin, Texas | Michelle Lay
+Prairie Up with Benjamin Vogt
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