Don’t worry, this is another fluff piece. I’ve been around the gardening block a few times, but thankfully I still get pleasantly surprised by a plant here, a concept there. You can only be cynical about so many things in life before it becomes a bit toxic. So imagine my glee when I read about “Gardening Withdrawal Syndrome.” I can thank our dear and charming President…no not him! I mean Jane B., of the Anchorage chapter of the Alaska Master Gardeners for this nugget of info.
She warned via email one of the symptoms of this malady is the old “rage against the dying of the light” approach for climates that have a winter dormancy period. For her, onset begins when she takes cuttings of many perennials and annuals and attempts to winter them over by rooting them in water in the garage. So what if you lose half of them to rot, she says, you still have a bunch more ready and waiting for next spring.
Maybe I’ve seen too many TV dramas, but aren’t withdrawal syndromes characterized by shakes or seizure of some kind? Or is it vomiting and frothing at the mouth? I’ll count shivering through winter as shakes, if you don’t mind. My Gardening Withdrawal Syndrome symptoms are not as useful, productive, or as thrifty as Jane’s. Yes, I know, another big surprise for the readership. I’ll rank them, as I seem to be on a list fetish lately.
1. Looking out the window…a lot and with an accompanying frown. “Yup, the snow is still there” or “Look, the moose ate the trees again.”
2. Reading and rereading nursery mail order catalogs. Morphine for those amidst a long winter’s gardening hiatus.
3. Ordering plants I don’t need, aren’t hardy, and/or are unaffordable. If they are located across the country with an absurdly high shipping charge, so much the better.
I realize the symptoms will vary from individual to individual. But I’m wondering if they also vary by geography, country, gardening zone, etc. I can just barely fathom there are those unaffected by this syndrome, such as those that garden in a very mild climate. Or maybe they just have lots of hobbies….
Are you having symptoms of GWS?