Seasonal distractions

A screenshot from a facebook post (don’t click on the +3)

Usually, at this time of year, my social feeds are filled with cries of “Too soon!, too soon!” Not this month. Instead, I am seeing houses getting decked out for Christmas before Thanksgiving is past and inquiries about where to get live potted trees. People are embracing the season before it even begins. Why? Because it’s a way to bring light and color into our domestic environments at a time when we can’t bring people or go where people are. That’s what I think, anyway.

The only thing that’s keeping me from gathering my garden-related holiday décor (branches, berries, seasonal plants) is that my favorite nurseries don’t have it yet. But they will by this weekend. In the meantime, I’m thinking about lights and I’ve already filled the house (those parts of it amenable to supporting plant material) with potted bulbs. About fifty of them, between tazettas and amaryllis. Another couple hundred sit in the root cellar and many will be ready to bring up by late December. Some of those will bloom by late January, with the rest opening up through February and March. I am going to need those flowers.

I am thankful for bulbs this week.

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Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Never to early to start celebrating currently. Every bit of cheer we can bring into our lives can only help us through this challenging year. Happy Thanksgiving and an early Merry Christmas.


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