When winter has you in a deathlock and even the evergreens look peaked, the only sensible thing to do is to cultivate your garden.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is always an inspiration, as are movies with lush gardens, fertile with ideas about what to do with ours. Even if you have just windowboxes or a couple of pots on the kitchen sill, DVD gardens are a wonderful way to beat the winter blues.
Confession: my favorite movie flowerbeds are guilty of what is known as "garden fraud," that is, mixing spring blooms like daffodil, tulips and peonies with midsummer flowers like roses and Oriental lilies. Still, "The Secret Garden" (1993) and "Enchanted April" (1991) boast stunning gardens you want to dream in.
Are there more abundant vegetable patches than the tomato beds in "The Godfather" (1972) and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" (2005), where ripe fruit hangs thick as decorations on a Christmas tree? It makes you think of salad and sauce recipes.
There are formal gardens such as the cypress-lined affair in "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961), menacing gardens like the collection tended by Katharine Hepburn in "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959) or "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) and magic gardens like the one in "Coraline" (now in theaters). (There are also gardeners, such as Ralph Fiennes in "the Constant Gardener" (2005) and Peter Sellers in "Being There" (1980).
My all-time favorite movie garden isn't properly a garden at all: It's the field of bluebells in "Howards End" (1992), soft and lush and enchanted as a magic carpet. How does your DVD garden grow?