It’s for a short period of time that I enjoy snow. It’s beautiful for a few days and I appreciate being trapped inside. Then, after some cold, the footprints are frozen and the piled-up snowbanks are dirty and ugly.

The good news is the bare spots are showing signs of spring. Both snowdrops and witch hazels are beginning to bloom. Any day now we will be complaining about too much to do.

How I wish I could report progress in my greenhouse. Some varmint is digging nightly through my newly-planted containers. Honestly, if it can go wrong, it will.

Last Saturday I went to a panel discussion about the effects of landscaping and its possible contribution to global warming.

It was a lively and informative discussion. We talked about the use and misuse of fertilizers, pesticides and insect spraying. We expressed concern for the ponds, the water table and the bee population. We did our best to come up with some solutions. Education topped the list. Perhaps local nurseries could feature native plant material as incentives for homeowners. The schools are always needing some new and interesting topics. After all, children will inherit this world.

One great thing about spending more time indoors is the time spent in food preparation. Last summer I grew boatloads of both onions and zucchini. I caramelized said onions, added big chunks of the squash, hit it with the handheld blender and popped several quart containers of the puree into the freezer. It’s a great addition to soups and stews and especially tomato sauce.

Usually I add eggplant in order to hide it from the family. When blended, they never suspect. Last year I had a crop failure, thanks to overly-aggressive Colorado potato beetles. Apparently they prefer eggplants to potatoes, who knew?

Speaking of potatoes, I spent some time perusing seed catalogs in search of old-favorite varieties to order. I still order by phone from a paper catalog. Feel free to yell, “okay, Boomer” at this time.

When Mike Saunler sold Heather Gardens this past fall, I got several large bags of peat moss.

I’m using it in the bottom of seed trays. It is remarkable how long it takes for it to absorb water. Once it does, however, it has a wonderful ability to retain moisture. This will be a real help later in the spring when I do not get home until late to my watering duties.

Mike sold to Tara Gayle, a young woman who — as luck would have it — is rumoured to specialize in native plants. Looking forward to see what she does to the place.

While on the subject of native plants, it may be time to mention the invasives. Many of them were introduced by well-meaning amateur horticulturalists. The worst, as we all know, is Japanese knotweed, aka false bamboo.

Russian olives and burning bushes are right up towards the top of the list.

I’m wondering if the ornamental grass, miscanthus, may be a new culprit. I find it reseeded into cracks in patios and many other unwanted spots.

In my last column I talked about my irritation at finding out that women could not serve on juries in Massachusetts until the 1950s.

My friend Shirley Kennedy called and promised to infuriate me even more.

Her mother, born in Duxbury at the turn of the last century, married a man from Jamaica. Because he was not a U.S. citizen, Shirley’s mother became an “alien.” Recently she found the naturalization papers and wondered if Mom didn’t tell the truth about her birthplace. Some searching of ancestry records found the Massachusetts birth certificate.

Here’s the kicker: this old law did not include American men who married women from other nations.

There you have it!