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Do People in Glasshouses Know it’s Winter?

Inside Krohn Conservatory it is warm and pleasantly humid. I can hear the sound of the waterfall in the center house as I make my way to the seasonal display room. This is as close to gardening as I have been in a while. Cincinnati’s winter has kept me bundled up and indoors a great deal of the time. Wistfully I dream of moving into a home with a greenhouse or orangery where I can grow seedlings, raise orchids and wear shorts in the winter. Watching families mill about, young kids trying hard not to touch the colorful pansies, I wonder, do people in glasshouses know it’s winter? Do they know that countless gardeners are immersing themselves in garden books and nursery catalogs to escape the cold, harsh winter that stands between them and their gardens?

Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati

Across the country distraught gardeners in snow boots are stomping up their driveways and dropping their shovels on their way to the phone. Puddles of melting snow collects around their boots as they place the call they have been fighting the urge to make all winter.

“Yes, the one on page 6, that’s the one. How soon can you have it delivered?”

“Spring? What if I shovel the snow off the yard, can you install it now?”

“No?” Heavy sigh. “OK, spring it is. I can hold on till then.”

This must be a busy season for residential greenhouse manufactures.

There is one upside to being a landless gardener that I had not thought of until now. Being a landless gardener has leveled the seasons out a bit. The winters are frustrating but I do not feel that intense feeling that I should be out in the gardens. My time in the gardens is limited to a few days a week when I can make it to my plots at the park. Spring and summers are exciting, but not the take-no-prisoners, garden every free moment fever that I once had.

But, to be on the safe side, I think I will put a few greenhouse catalogs away for safekeeping. You know, for the day when I have a yard again and the winters become just too unbearable.

Jennifer Koester, the Landless Gardener, lives in Cincinnati and is the author of the garden blog, The Garden Life.