This has been quite a week. I acquired a new dog, a new phone and a new computer!
The new family member is Tuppence. Her name is the English version of "2 cents" and I thought this would match well with my terrier, Penny.
Tuppence is a young dog, part Shih Tsu, and came to me from the Humane Society. I do encourage anyone thinking about adopting a new cat or dog to make the trip there to see the appealing rows of beautiful animals waiting for homes for the holidays.
The new phone is quite an adventure. It is a bright and shiny cell phone, and my grandaughter, Brittany, patiently is training me to use it.
As soon as I am reasonably proficient, I will be dropping my longtime landline and going forward into the 21st century.
The third addition was not so welcome. Someone broke into my home and stole my laptop. That means I lost a whole lot of material, including all my columns, past, present and future. I hope the thief learns a lot if he reads them.
I now have new locks, front and back, as well as a very noisy alarm. I always enjoyed writing at my desk in the front window, where I could watch people passing by and an assortment of birds, squirrels, etc.
But I have now moved the computer to a new location and will just have to get used to it. It's too bad someone without a conscience can spoil things for other people.
But this is supposed to be a garden column, so back to business.
People often ask me what gardeners do in the winter time. As far as this gardener is concerned, there is no off season.
A part of my garden comes inside before the first frost, when I move some of the fairy garden plants into the house. My Christmas village this year is set into a garden that fills the top of a buffet. The little trees grow in containers, so they were easy to move, and they are surrounded with several varieties of sedum and creeping thyme, hens and chicks, and a few other plants, all growing in disposable turkey pans with bamboo fencing hiding the foil.
This takes quite a bit of care with daily misting, but the plants have transplanted well.
Then there are the regular house plants to care for - too many of them, of course. And the kitchen window sill has parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay and mint. I love to be able to pick fresh herbs through most of the winter, instead of using those brown, crumbly substances in the cupboard.
And, although the plants rarely survive until spring planting time, I enjoy the weeks I manage to keep them alive.
In the dark, cool and damp basement, I am growing paperwhite narcissus, which were supposed to be blooming at Christmas time. I don't think they will make the deadline, showing just about an inch of green now, but they have healthy roots and will be nice to have when all the decorations are packed away again.
So that is how a gardener spends a lot of the winter, not to mention the time spent thumbing through the new seed catalogs with plenty of Post-it notes at hand. So I will now get on with the day's "garden tour" here in the house, and hope the coming week is a bit less exciting.
Janet Del Turco is a local gardener and a graduate of the Ohio State University Master Gardener program. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.