Cold Air – Don’t Care

By Bonnie Grant | September 20, 2021
Image by Zoia Kostina
by Bonnie Grant
September 20, 2021

I used to work on a private estate as a gardener. We worked year around with no days off for excessive heat, torrential rains, or heavy snow. So I got really good at gearing up for anything Mother Nature would throw at me. Catalogs of gear for adventure seekers provided the perfect palette of clothing to keep me comfy any time of the year. And yes, silk underwear was crucial in winter. 

I still have some of the gardening clothes I used on the estate. It was all good quality and has lasted many years even with hard use. Footgear is one of the most important gardening items. I still have boots, the kind with the removable liner. These were critical to being not only on your feet all day, but to keep feet toasty. I would also carry those little heater packets to tuck in anywhere that was getting too chilly. At one point, I tried electric socks (yep, they exist), but I found them too bulky and abandoned them rather quickly. 

Garden Gear for Rain

The best winter gardening gear was a rain suit. I went through a couple types of rain gear, before settling on two excellent suits. The first was for warmer weather. It has 2 pieces, a top and bottom. The bottom has elastic at the hems so mud and water don’t get into the pants. The top has a hood that detaches and button cuffs with a zip front. My other set is heavier, made for winter. It is an overall style pant with a separate jacket. I couldn’t live without this rain gear and I call them my pickle suits. I use this rain gear in most seasons, outside of summer. 

Garden Gear for Cold

I’ll be out in the landscape in winter gardening clothes anytime there isn’t snow. There is always something to do, it seems. My winter gardening gear includes that silk long john underwear, plus wool socks, layers of flannel or fleece, and an old, ratty coat. A hat is a must have, but so are gloves. I have an inner pair for warmth and a pair that goes over top that is water proof. Both serve very important purposes. If it is snowing or sleeting, I add my rain gear over my ratty coat. 

Getting outside, even in winter, is good for my soul. I connect with nature and growing things and would be seriously depressed if I didn’t have some time in my garden. I get the first peeks at little sprouting things and enjoy the very first flowers in late January to early February. The Christmas lights get put away in a timely manner, and my tools and vertical structures get cleaned, sharpened, and shored up for the growing season. 

I have gardening clothes for the warm season too, but the most important are my winter gear. I can enjoy my time outside without freezing or getting wet with this garb. It will all get washed and put away in spring, but will make its crucial appearance in fall. And after a day in the winter garden, I can enjoy the comforts of home with just a few steps into the door.

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