(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 17, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

If you've been wondering what's so great about being a subscriber at Dave's Garden, or thought, "why bother subscribing?", join me as I wander around for a day. You will see in no time that the small subscription value is well worth the wealth and knowledge available here, not to mention the friendly, ever-so-helpful folk who hang out in this family friendly garden. Many of the forums are open to everyone, but you'll only be able to see the first post on some of my links; even that peek will give you a good idea of what you are missing. A trial two-month subscription, if you are still unsure after our tour, is only the price of a cup or two of coffee.

Yawn! Good morning. A fine morning it is too. Temperatures are in the negatives. The weather is clear, cold and crisp. The pets needed taking out, so I turned on the coffee and headed out the door. Came back inside and, ackk!...no coffee! Stupid appliances. Gave it a whack and it started brewing. That was a minor disaster averted--I simply can not function without my daily coffee. Must be a problem with the electrical. Lights are always blinking too.

ImageHeaded into the the bathroom/ laundry room to do a load of hand-sewed quilts my Mom made me. Tripped on a loose corner of flooring; a tile is always coming un-glued. It occured to me that I should probably hire a handyman one of these days. The repairs and maintenance costs on this place are staggering. My home budgets and finances are in need of reworking. Maybe I should just look into selling this home and move into an apartment! Better yet, move someplace warmer like Florida or Georgia. Maybe even Texas or the Southwest. Nah, I like it here in the Northeast. Although the Rocky Mountains are beautiful. Sigh.

Enough of that nonsense, I like it here. I have too much invested in the landscaping to move.

The dogs were all hovering around the bathroom, looking worried, so I went to see what was up. Good grief! There is water flowing under the door. That cannot be good. The kitchen floor was looking like a water garden. Time to call someone to look at the plumbing. The plumber says my machne is shot. Great. Oh well, the old tub will make a wonderful container garden! You know what they say, one man's trash is another's treasure.

While the plumber was doing his thing, I hopped onto the computer and downloaded some photos I had in the camera. I wanted to use them for some computer crafts I had in mind. There, sitting on the top of the monitor was a gigantic bug. Where are the cats when you really need them? Figures, they're all sitting in the windows bird watching. Turned out it was a bee, smart cats. Waiting for the photos to load I began to look around me. The house plants all needed a drink, but the plumber had the water turned off. I needed to do a little spring cleaning by the looks of the dust, get this place clean and clutter free. What a Imagedaunting task, it looks like a construction zone in here. I've got the wallpaper torn off and am re-doing the walls and trim. I can't decide whether to paint or stain. My furnishings are all covered in sheets. It is a miracle I can find anything.

By then the dogs were whining to be taken out again. It is hard to believe that under two feet of snow is my vibrant, beautiful garden lying dormant. Ferns, fungi and mosses waiting to spring back with the heat of the sun. My basement is full of dahlias, geraniums, cannas and gladiolas all dormant as well and waiting for February to be potted up for their journey back to life. I've already started some tomatoes and herbs under the lights upstairs. I should have started some peppers as well, but I garden by the moon and missed the right time for sowing those. I have been saving seeds for years, even have some wonderful heirloom vegetables saved, although the seed germination rates on them, at least for me, are not the best. Saving seeds leads to trading seeds which has helped me battle this long winter induced cabin fever I've been suffering lately.

What I wouldn't give for a greenhouse! I even have a spot picked out. Right over there by the vegetable garden. It would even give me a much-needed shady garden for some hostas I've been drooling over. I've always gardened organically when possible. I love my healthy soil and composting has become an obsession. Might even try my hand at strawbale gardening this summer.

The dogs have cold feet so it's time to head back inside and quit this dreaming. After giving them their treats I reach into the freezer and pull out some beans. I grew them myself last year. I've always been a big fan of canning, freezing and drying my produce. Putting up your own vegetables and fruits is a good step toward frugal living. Although I'm not the best at cooking and I never do any entertaining, I do have some wonderful recipes that have been handed down for generations.

What a day it has been!! My tummy is full and the critters are all snoozing in front of the fireplace. I think it's time for me to grab a good book, curl up in front of the tv and see if there is a movie on tonight. If not, I'll pick up some needlework I've been doing.

I hope you've enjoyed this trip through Dave's Garden with me. The words highlighted lead to their matching forum, just click on them to be taken there. I have just brushed the tip of the iceburg. There are many forums here. Some of the forums are subscriber only, but the information available, and the friendships that can be formed are well worth the price.

The complete list of forums can be found on this page.