3Ways Cold Climate Gardeners Treat Cabin Fever

  1. Light Therapy In the land of the low-lying sun, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real problem. If winter has you so down you feel like you might never get up, consult a health care professional. Light therapy is usually part of the recommended treatment. The lightboxes used for treatment used to be big, bulky affairs, but now they are so lightweight and portable that you can slip one in your briefcase and take it to work. I use the older version of Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device pictured at right and it helps me keep my spirits up.

2. Snail Mail Therapy If you work at home, the arrival of the postal mail can seem like the highlight of your day, and it helps if you arrange for something good to show up in your mailbox. I confess that in the past I filled out those one-free-issue cards for magazines I had no intention of subscribing to, just so I would get something different in the mail. A better idea would be to subscribe to Northern Gardener, so you will get gardening advice targeted to our challenging conditions all year round. Also keep your eye out for a regional gardening magazine. For me, it’s Upstate Gardeners’ Journal, which also has a digital edition. If you’ve already got that nailed, look here for more fine gardening magazines and here for more garden magazine reviews.

3. Retail therapy Even better than mail delivery is a package brought to your doorstep. If you have some holiday gift money waiting to be spent, consider buying a gardening book specifically aimed at our climate. The University of Minnesota Press updated and revised their three-volume series on growing in cold climates: Growing Perennials in Cold Climates (my review of first edition), Growing Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates  and Growing Roses in Cold Climates . If your winter garden is no garden at all, Prairie Winterscape: Creative Gardening for the Forgotten Season will inspire you, as it inspired me. And since the gardening season is defined by when frost ends in the spring and when it begins in the fall, maybe you need to consult A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons. I found the book very helpful. Or maybe you’ve got enough books. How about some garden shoes or other accessories?