Winter, in the colder climes, brings the perfect opportunity to shutter oneself indoors with thick books and many cups of hot tea. Let the weather outside be frightful; the outside really is delightful when ensconced in a warm corner, surrounded by tea and books.
Yet my favorite winter reading comes from no book at all. It comes in paper, yes, and all in black ink on white pages, and it is nonfiction. What brings me the greatest joy in January is curling up with this year's newly-arrived garden catalogue.
I have only one catalogue, having summoned the strength to resist the siren call of the obscenely gorgeous color offerings from seed companies all over the country. My choice comes from www.bountifulgardens.org. This California company specializes in offering heirloom seeds and seeds for plants that are suitable for saving to plant next year. They teach biointensive gardening, getting the most from the least, one might say. The Bountiful Gardens people have taught and continue to teach people from all over the world how to get the best and greatest yields from small, formerly unsuitable spaces. They have countless success stories, too. The catalogue offers books, seeds, implements and much more.
I fell in love with gardening last year, although my efforts are somewhat limited. I pass glum and grey winter days by poring over the catalogue and fantasizing about what this year's warm seasons shall bring.
(submitted by Moon Rani)