|Helleborus 'Anna's Red'|
And with all these events happening at the early part of winter, what about the rest of the cold season? So what about January and February then? Valentine's day is a bit isolated and besides it's not really that big of an event (except to the greeting card companies of course!)...
|Not atypical, more so in January and February|
The winter black hole is not applicable to all of course, only affecting colder parts of the northern hemisphere that has remarkable four seasons, and the southern hemisphere having different 'winter black hole' months altogether.
Unsurprisingly, this period if the least favourite time of virtually everyone I know of living in the same region as we are, or a country of a similar climate. Most especially if you're heavily into gardening for this is also the most quiet period of the hobby/industry in general (except for a few exceptions...).
|Galanthus 'John Gray'|
Beauty - such a parameter is subjective but it is safe to say that the beauty of snowdrop blooms are undeniable.
Variety - gardeners and plant collectors love and thrive on plants that has several species and (almost) countless amounts of variety. The more the better. Will it incite as much excitement as this phenomenon has exhibited if there are only a few to choose from? I doubt it.
Timing - most Galanthus bloom, look good, and be at their best at a time of the year when very little else does. A plant with a very good timing and near monopoly in the beauty stakes of the period. If Galanthus bloomed in the summer (in that case the common name would probably be Snowdrops in the Summer, Little White Bells, etc) would they cause as much excitement? Again I doubt it, they would have far too much competition.
Gardener's Coping Mechanism - a lot of gardeners and plant lovers need something plant related to keep them pre-occupied during a quiet and dreary period of the year. So there are the snowdrops, a plant that can be obsessed upon when very little else is looking good outside. And for those who are captivated by this bulb's beauty, they can find themselves immersed in a flurry of snowdrop activities and excitement that by the time the events are over, lo and behold, winter is over and spring has arrived. Pre-occupation with snowdrops has helped them get through the rest of the winter.
So am I a galanthophile? No, not at all. I love seeing them en masse in a woodland setting but apart from that it doesn't rock my boat looking into them in detail. But I do appreciate them and understand why the phenomenon exists.
Feeling sad, bored, down at this period? A gardener and a plant lover and not much happening out there in the plant scene? Long nights and lack of activity getting you down? Who wants to remain feeling this way, virtually none. Everyone has their own set of coping mechanisms for this period, or at least evolved to have them.
Funny enough, when I used to live in the tropics my favourite months were January and February, when heavy rains are less of an occurrence and temperatures, although still warm are just a touch lower that it just feels right, comfortable. Unlike when summer arrives and the heat can get unbearable (quick, air-conditioning!). And now, living in the UK my favouritism has reversed.
|The tropics, where it's sunny and warm most of the time. But what about the unique beauty of spring?|
We probably plan for these two months as much as we plan our summer. And even more so than Christmas (hence we always go on a last minute dash around the shops a few days before!). In the warmer months there's always something to do, in the garden and elsewhere. But in the winter it can get tricky and if you're not careful you can easily find yourself not having anything to do but be alone with your thoughts, staring out through the window looking at dreary skies and seemingly lifeless landscape: the perfect recipe for a bad mood.
And occasionally, learn to enjoy the aspect of reduced activity of this period, go with the flow and just rest and relax. You might even be thankful for this period when the activity of the warmer months gets a bit much.
So far we've been very good at planning for the 'winter black hole' period of 2013. So much so that we practically almost wiped out all of our free time in February (but that's a good thing) that we have to ease off plans in January in anticipation of this busy month. But January won't be idle either, far from it.
|Hence why most of our getaways are in the winter|
So keep smiling and be creative. Stay above the winter black hole as much as you can and don't let yourself get sucked into the void. Remember, most of the time, you're in control.