People also undergo an internal process during the winter months. According to the Tao, we turn inward along with the season. Contemplating...connecting with the energy of the North, with our inner thoughts and process. We find ourselves evaluating, re-evaluating, throwing out what doesn't work or what we don't need any more...making quiet plans. Winter has a way of doing that naturally to people. Especially when the weather limits your activity. It's your resting time, courtesy of natural law. How you choose to handle it of course, is up to you. Many people throw themselves into a regime of strenuous fitness and exercise. That's not what it's suppose to be about. But neither is three months vegging away on the couch in front of the TV either.
In winter I usually find myself in quiet mode. Not terribly creative, but contemplative...definitely on the introspective side of the creative wheel. I write more, I re-organize and re-think what I have done over the last year, eventually pulling together a (usually pretty vague) vision of what direction my path should take during the new calender year.
During this process I'm usually not only thinking about my artwork and jewelry designs, but also thinking about my garden. The garden may be cold and bare boned outside, but inside I still crave nurturing the green and enjoying the beautiful colors displayed by the plants when they are in boom.
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, my son suggested we visit a garden shop/restaurant that he discovered not too long ago. He told me that it was a amazingly beautiful place that I just had to see...and boy he certainly did not exaggerate! Terrain is probably one of the most unique, gorgeous indoor retail spaces that I have ever been in - period. It's a close second to ABC Carpet, and that's saying a lot!
Terrain is owned by Urban Outfitters, so right away you know it's going to have an edge and aesthetic appeal that you are not going to find every day. The indoor garden shop is truly a glowing visual and sensory experience. The space also extends into a wonderful little restaurant, specializing in locally sourced and prepared artisan food. It was such an incredible environment. I honestly could have moved in and stayed forever.
Philadelphia is Terrain's flagship store, and it only has one other location in Westport, Connecticut. I've read articles where the store may be an attempt to target gardening and outdoor living to more of a Gen Xer audience, probably given the parent company, but I find that generalization to be pretty short sighted. What is does offer is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the people of all ages to the visual aesthetic and artistic beauty of horticulture and garden design - an experience much different then just shopping for plants in the garden section of the Home Depot.
In addition to gardening supplies, I should also mention that the store beautifully integrates a whole range of books on food and gardening, artisan bath and body products, a sprinkling of furniture, lighting, curios and other carefully placed interior odds and ends into their space. There is also an entire outdoor section of the shop which was closed for the winter.
So, if your thoughts are turning to the garden - even though it may be snowing - maybe you will get some ideas from some of these photos for some things you can be doing in your own home to pass the winter months.
If you do not live near Philadelphia or Westport, you can also visit Terrain's online store, where you will find a nice selection of some of the items available in their shop.
I'll close by saying, I really do hope that this is one retail store that will have greater availability to more people in the future. It was definitely an uplifting experience for the Mind, Body and Spirit.
~ diane fergurson
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