January Dreams

Sprouted Oak – this acorn sprouted in the cold room so it will be planted in a cup for now!


January is like the deepest sleep.

“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time… ”

Rainer Maria Rilke, to Heise, 1922

Seabuckthorn – planted in early December in this pot – hopeful for it to establish itself outside this spring.


The sun definitely begins to restore that “radiance” in January.  The still, bright night sky all a lit with pure silver cast stars!  The sun that lingers in the kitchen while I fix dinner, cats wandering on counter tops.  I feel like we primarily driven by the sun and the moon, so it makes total sense to me that the longer days have me dabbling with seeds, earth and growth!

I have sensed revival and growth – and maybe I express it through a primeval way – working with new life.

IMG_20171222_114900 (1)
Seeds Collected over 2017

The earth and plants have bewitched me and I feel like I’ve become their faithful, voluntary servant.

And so, early in January I began to take a little bit of action in this realm, despite the seed packet guidelines.   My logic is that I have house plants of all kinds, so why shouldn’t I be able to start some perennials as “houseplants” before transplanting outdoors.  I have done this for the past 2 years since we have had our own acre and never experienced any problems with starting some early plants! It actually really deepens my bond with the particular plant because they receive so much early care (as opposed to my plants in April because there are hundreds!)

Mostly Holly Hock – collected from one beauty plant in the back!
Seed Packets for 2018 – collected in 2017!  Among the Foxglove to be packaged up and a pack of poppies filled to the brim – I use old window frames to house the seeds throughout late summer and fall
The tiniest echinacea beginning to germinate – to plant in the spring – the last seed that I have as well.  Echinacea or coneflower does not flower the first year of planting (like so many others!) and are difficult to germinate so I like to give them a little bit of a head start.
Milkweed in a David’s Tea tin – I will have to move these quickly – I wasn’t expecting this many to germinate!
Hollyhock in a yogurt container and a very dirty window – taking these photos makes me realize how badly they need cleaning 😛
Peperomia – I actually gave this beauty a ‘hair cut’ yesterday
January Yard – Today it is 5 C and there is no snow – the river is melting – such a strange up and down winter
A small seed order – I have one more to place for the final veggies, flowers and herbs –

So it begins… I can’t wait for the day in May that we go to the nursery, the greenhouses!  But for now, I really don’t mind just the stirring of life, the rising sun and clear night skies.

In other parts of my small world – I am working in the library, knitting a sweater that just needs button bands and buttons and preparing to make a little pattern available on here for the last pair of fingerless mitts.  It may be so confusing which is why I am just going to put it up here and state “make at own risk.”

Mountain Ash


In memoriam of Dolores O’Riordan – she helped me through being a teenager and always, always made me think of spring and life and growth and just moving on.  I feel so incredibly sad for her and her family and just wanted to share with you her beautiful voice ❤ May she rest in peace



7 thoughts on “January Dreams

  1. I, too, have been enjoying the qualities of winter: silence, stillness, a regeneration of my energies. Dreaming of what to plant this year…and what animals to welcome into my life: cats 🐈, a dog 🐕, a sheep 🐑 or two 🐑🐑? There are so many possibilities!

    I read The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and LOVED it! ❤️❄️ I’m now read her second novel To The Bright Edge of the World. Liking this one too.

    As always your posts are so refreshing, honest, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with us Julia!


    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Oh I think all of the above to the animals!! Haha, maybe one at a time though >.<! You may be overwhelmed especially because dogs can demand most of your time (but so worth it!).

      I still have not read The Snow Child (currently reading Blind Assassin by Atwood and a Moomins comic strip). But encoruaged since you loved it!

      Thank you for reading! I am working again in the public sphere so haven't had as much time but slowly and surely!


  2. Julia, this post is like a piece of poetry ❤

    And thank you for sharing the quote. It is beautiful. 🙂

    You have so many exciting planting projects going on. All of those seeds you've collected, that must have been a big job? How do you store them?


    1. Hi Camilla,

      We are under our storm warning right now!! It is not so a big job to collect seeds, just a little bit everyday and I don’t really think of it as a job because I just love being with them. I store them on a window frame with the (my mind is drawing a blank on the word…) netting that keeps bugs out so that they can dry. I then place the frame in a drawer that has a relatively normal temperature (not too hot or cold or damp, etc.).

      I’m hopeful that I’ll have time to respond to e-mails this weekend too! I am just finishing up an art/knitting project and then working but shall be free soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds good! I tried that with seeds last year, but my drawer was too warm, I think. Oh, well..

        Hope the knitting and art brings you joy, and that work is good:) We’re going away on a cabin in the mountains this weekend, and I’m pretty excited. Weather report says -10 to -20 Celcius and snowing! Sometime roads across the mountains get closed at weather like that, but I’m hoping we’ll be home again by Sunday night! 🙂

        Hope you’ll have a good week.


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