Trust me, I know how you feel
There's no point in sugar coating this message. The weather sucks and it is going to continue to suck for the rest of the month; ain't nothing any of us can do about it and no amount of whining is going to make me or you feel any better (although a healthy dose of "winie-ing" seems to help me get through the week). By the time northwest gardeners reach the month of March they are ready to dig into the soil and get with the program. Having to wait until April can be pure torture so here is what I do to try and stay upbeat.
I go to the garden shows and study the garden catalogues to see what is new and exciting. I often order a few new treasures to trial in my garden; it gives me something to look forward to and even if I never get around to planting them it is the thrill of the purchase that keeps me going.
I take in garden lectures. The N.P.A., Northwest Horticulture Society, Master Gardener Foundation, and many local garden clubs have some wonderful speaker programs. On the 31st of this month is a talk by Dan Hinkley (through the Snohomish Master Gardener Foundation) that I have been looking forward to for several months. If you are interested go to their website and see if there are any tickets left. This is a fund raiser for the foundation so you can also feel good about supporting a worthy cause.
I go to the garden center to see what they already have in stock. Even though I own a garden center and "go to it" every day I still enjoy seeing what my buyers have brought in for the season. And believe it or not I often go to other garden centers to see what they have brought in as well. Northwest gardeners have some excellent choices when it comes to garden centers and spending a day making the rounds does wonders for my soul. Purchasing a few new plants and adding them to my "collection of yet to be planted" containers is an annual ritual for any healthy gardener. Topping it off with a "happy hour" visit to a local restaurant is the perfect end to the day (see my "wining" comment above).
I spend time in my garden. Despite the fact that it is too cold and too wet to actually do much gardening I still like to spend time examining what is happening in my little patch of heaven. My "Golden Bleeding Heart" is emerging from its winter slumber (it is hands down one of my most favorite perennials). Daffodils are ever so close to full bloom. The Winter Hazel is also about to burst forth with it primrose yellow blossoms and sweet fragrance. The buds are swelling on my Frost Peach and the dark red shoots of the peonies are thinking very seriously about waking up. Life in my garden is not being daunted in the least by the weather but instead is moving on with all the confidence of warmer and sunnier days ahead.
So the above activities are healthy exercises that should help us get through this very frustrating time of year. If all else fails then I highly recommend my default program which is climbing into bed, turning the electric blanket up to 9, assuming the prenatal position and hoping that when I wake up the sun will be shining.
Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at email@example.com.