Marigolds: Common flower, uncommonly useful & a seed giveaway!

cardinal on feeder

This is Vermillion, our resident papa cardinal.

It has been a good while since I’ve done a giveaway, and I think as we move deeper into February, with all its emotional and physical challenges, a giveaway of marigold seeds from my garden, to you for yours (my gentle readers) is apt. 🙂 Before we get to that, though, I’m going to tell you some neat things I’ve learned about marigolds, perhaps the most common–but also one of the most cheerful–of annual flowers.

Anyhow. I have so many. Seeds, that is. I saved a lot of seeds from my gardens last year, and I have just begun to dream about what to do with all of them. Plant many of them, certainly. But giving some away makes me happy too, so that’s what I’m going to do.

But first, let’s commiserate together–just for a moment–about the trial that is February. In fact, driving home from drama practice last night, not-quite-so-little-anymore Mack was asking his dad and me: “What’s the slogan for February?” Bryan and I were tiredly baffled.

“Slogan?” I asked. “What do you mean?”

We had called an early rehearsal that day because there was a winter storm blowing in. A winter storm that we were, in fact, creeping slowly through to get home, at that very moment. The wind was blowing snow directly from the North Pole (well, at least North Dakota) and the road–having received a nice layer of freezing drizzle first–was quite slick. The temperature was hovering around 3°F (that’s -16°C) and dropping. I knew that I’d have a list of outdoor farm chores to attend to when I got home, as usual. Chickens don’t stop eating and being thirsty when it’s inconvenient to tend to them, ya know.

theatre cast onstage singing

Our cast–minus one– practicing taking their bows.

“Well, for instance,” he continued, “September is ‘Be Prepared Month,’ and so on. What’s February?”

Bryan and I started firing off “slogans” one after another, and none of them were very nice. “Frostbite and Depression Month,” “Just You TRY to Hang on to Sanity Month”and “Sucky Cold and Darkness Month,” and so on. “Blinded by the crazy blinking blue lights on the snow plow in front of you month,” I added wryly, as a snowplow pulled out in front of us, necessitating our driving the rest of the way about thirty miles an hour, and shielding our retinas from damage from those crazy-bright blinking blue lights. (Must that be THAT bright?)

“It’s a good thing they are so bright,” Bryan mentioned, between winces, in a making-lemonade-out-of-lemons train of thought. “One time during a winter storm I nearly ran right into a snow plow because the snow was coming down so thick. If it weren’t for those super-bright blinking lights, well . . .”

snowscape on farm in Nebraska

Snow-snow-snow–so pretty . . . but . . .

We pondered that for a good while, as we blew into our hands to get them warm. I was wondering which darling children I might have missed out on . . . was it before or after Malachi, for example, when he nearly rear-ended a snowplow?

These are dark thoughts that probably wouldn’t even tickle the gray matter, if it were May. Or even March. But in February, they tend to crowd out many other more productive thoughts.

We never did come up with an appropriate–or positive–slogan for February. In the Midwest, at least, by February the charms of winter–having a big pot of soup bubbling on the stove, early sunsets so there’s more reading time, an excuse to burn a wood fire 24/7, snuggling on the couch with a cat and a book–begin to lose their appeal. At least to me. By February, one longs for more sunshine–emotionally and physically. Being able to walk outside for more than ten minutes before one has to beat a hasty retreat to the warmth of the house. Green grass. Consistent sunshine.

One tires, one does, of pulling on 32 layers every morning, and then pulling 32 layers off again at night. Occasionally one toys with the idea of just wearing 32 layers to bed, just for a break in this tiresome routine. Other niggling physical concerns begin to nag. I wear band-aids on both thumbs because of the painful cracks that I get on them this time of year. “February–the Dry and Cracked Thumb Skin Month.”

What has winter been like at your place? Here in Nebraska, it has been a tricksy critter, for sure. Even into the middle of December, we had mild, sweet days and cool nights. We Nebraskans were smug and happy: whattya know, winter has forgotten to show up this year! We laughed, so carefree. Smug. Contented. Warm. And “I could stand this sort of winter any ole’ time!” 

And I heard this more than once during those halcyon non-winter days.

But I’m getting away from my original point . . . which was . . hmm . . .oh yes, this winter. THIS winter turned on a dime in the middle of December, and we’ve had windy, bone-chilling nights down to -20F here in our part of the state, during which a good share of my beautiful lettuces, flowers, and other greens in my hoop house perished.

This is not supposed to happen, of course. But it did. Growing crops in the hoop house is a blessing for me, and I’ve going on my fifth year of doing so. I learn something new every year. This year’s lesson: sometimes everything freezes. It’s an unheated space in Nebraska winter, duh. Of course sometimes it all freezes. Although this is the first time it has for me.

girls acting as flappers pose onstage

These girls just crack me up. (photo credit Luke Dovel)

So, marigolds. I can think of a great number of flowers that are tricky to grow. Marigolds are not one of them. If you plant them once, in fact, you don’t ever have to go to the trouble to plant them again. I planted marigolds one time in an outdoor bed, many years ago. The plants produced lots of seeds, which drop onto the soil and put up enough baby plants the next summer that I haven’t had to plant them since. In fact, I dig up the extra baby plants and move them other places where they are needed.

Like in my garden.

Here’s the really neat thing about marigolds, in your humble blogger’s opinion, and the reason marigolds ought to be more prized than they are.

Not only are they cheery, friendly, beautiful, and abundant–once they start to bloom, they never stop–until a killing frost or freeze kills the plant, that is. But they also deter deer, rabbits, moles, and other animal pests from your garden spaces, AND there is some evidence of their detering nematodes, too (harmful worms that reside in the soil), and even attracting beneficial insects to the crops that need them the most.

And that, my friends, is why turning thoughts to planting marigolds, in February, is such a boon. Marigolds provide comfort. They provide balance. The sturdy little flowers provide never-ending cheer, with a minimum of fuss. They don’t turn on a dime and suddenly blow you with arctic-quality winds. Or frostbite your toes. No.

Marigolds do their best for you, without asking for much–if anything–in return. Marigolds are the faithful hound dogs of the plant world–the gardener’s best friend. I consider zinnias the lovely big sister of the marigolds, and I plant lots of them, too. Everywhere. Ask anyone.

So . . . question: are the heirloom tomatoes that I grow every year beautiful and abundant because of my supposed green thumb and my good soil, or is it because I insist on planting marigolds and zinnias in every nook and cranny of my tomato patch? Hmm. Good food for thought during this, the coldest and hardest month in the gardener’s calendar year (in my humble etc., etc.). (February: “the I can’t wait for spring month”)

SO. Do you plant flowers in grand confusion er, ah, profusion in your garden? Mayhaps you should. Mayhaps you would, if you had some seeds?

Well, guess what, chickie, I’m giving away some seeds! I saved seeds from the Fireball zinnia that I grew last year in my hoop house. I love this variety! It has a handy low-to-the-ground growing habit, and beautiful dark burgundy and maroon flowers. The flowers are different because they start out one color and change slowly to another one. Color-changing zinnias: they are a thing. The Fireball is a classy, high-brow flower. It’s the type of zinnia, if it were a person, that would eat at the fancy restaurants that I sell edible flowers to. It wouldn’t be lunching at the hamburger joint on the way to the city, no. It would have a nice lunch in the city itself.

I wish I could find the photos that I took of my Fireball zinnias, but no. The February curse is on my organizational skills, which were scanty at best. But you can click over here if you are curious about the way they look.

farm snowscene in Nebraska

I’d like to send five gentle readers of my blog some Fireball zinnia seeds, just because it’s February and I know that I can’t be the only gardener in the room who could use some encouragement.

To sign up for the giveaway, just leave me a comment below. Something cheering. Something positive about February, in your neck of the woods. Something hopeful. For a second entry, share this post in your social channels, and then be sure to leave in your comment that you did so. (My sharing favorites: Instagram and Facebook! but anything works!) I’ll put all the entries into a hat on the last day in February, and draw out five lucky winners and send your seeds to you that day.

Pinky promise!

Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about this virtuous, easy-to-grow annual, here’s a good place that you can do so.

Have a good one! Stay WARM and positive. March is coming!







62 thoughts on “Marigolds: Common flower, uncommonly useful & a seed giveaway!

  1. Rosemary K

    I’m new to your website but we have so much in common – for instance, South Dakota looks a lot like Nebraska right now. But spring is so close, so hang in there! Love your blog, love starting flowers from seeds, and would happily plant some of those beautiful marigolds in my yard this spring!

  2. Maggie Carnes

    You said the most positive thing about February in your last line…March is coming! I also think February is a time to be quiet after the holidays and plan for things to come. It is the month for being thankful that it is a short month and that we have another year to look forward too. Seeds of thoughts are to be planted and will be nurtured though out the months to come.

  3. Kristine

    Ah, February! In this small sector of NE Ohio, February is Bring on the Birthdays month as we celebrate 2, are adding a brand new smells-like-heaven granddaughter, and roll over to yet another birthday the second day of March. Plant Valentine’s Day smack dab in the middle, and it winds up being a month with plenty of fun things to plan and enjoy! We’ve also experienced frigid wintry weather since mid-December, but the cheery thing I remind myself as I thaw the chicken waterer yet again is that such extended c-c-cold brings the blessing of fewer insects to battle this summer. And THAT is something to be glad about as we continue sipping soup in front of our crackling fireplaces while winter begins to thaw just enough to send the sap dripping into spigots for yet another February delight—maple syrup season!

  4. Kay

    I think February should be deemed Baking Month! The cold and ice make me turn to baking. The warmth of the oven, the delicious scents of fresh baked bread, rolls, muffins, cookies, pies…whatever the mood inspires. And all that goodness warms the heart even when it’s freezing outside!

  5. Jeannie Johansen

    I didn’t know that about Marigolds seeding themselves. Delightful!

    We moved from CA to Maine and are in the midst of our 1st winter here. The beauty that surrounds us is breathtaking. We marvel at how the scenery changes almost daily;
    Ice on the rocks looking like a crystal stream
    Seeing through the trees to the lakes & streams we can’t see in the summer
    Walking on a frozen lake
    The sun sparkling on the snow….
    And most of all living in a Christmas card through the whole winter.

  6. Kathleen Williamson

    Love your insight on everything, the good, the bad, the I’m ok with the weather but I’m ready for spring now lol. Here in Missouri February is our winters last frolic. January brings a warm spell, but February is finicky. It also brings the realization that spring is almost here, and to prove it the sun is noticeably moving back to the north. After an ice storm, the sun shines that much brighter melting it.. thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Sounds a lot like Nebraska February, Kathleen! Warm up and thaw, then get socked with a winter storm. And repeat. ha! Thanks for your comment!

  7. Andrea Johnson

    Here in the Pacific Northwest the challenges are different (smaller scale, possibly, since most nights I don’t even need a heated chicken waterer), but the grey, gray, grey, gray can get pretty oppressive. On a rare sunny day last week I let my chickens scratch in their tractor in bug paradise and of my 3 laying hens, got two “bullseyes” the next day. I know they’re often a sign of two-eggs-in-oviduct-at-once, or an egg sitting there too long, or too much calcium, or…but they were quite pretty. I took it as their vote that spring is coming. See Skagit Poultry Peeps post,

  8. April Tucker

    I love marigolds! Don’t have any of the variety of you’ve mentioned. I wood love to try those. I agree marigolds are cheery and love their scent. I put them in the coop and nesting boxes in the summer. Speaking of Summer I’m really getting the itch to start planting. Love playing in my garden with my chickens!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, that reminds me, April of something I’ve read–that chicken farmers used to put the petals of the Crackerjack marigold (it’s a large one, one that I grew last year, in fact) in their chicken feed to get more vibrant color in the egg yolks! Cool, huh?

  9. Rose Geib

    February is best because it is a short month and is over almost as quickly as it came.
    I’m with you on the cracked thumbs and wishing to stay outside more than 10 minutes, but that is still in the distant future around here. Some of my winter projects still lurk around the edges of the house. I am not wishing for hot summer, but more sunlight would be a pleasure.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      After all my moaning, we had a couple days of sunshine and warmer temps this week! Now we’re going back into the deep freeze again, but I can almost smell spring!

  10. Dakota H

    Since I’m also in Nebraska (about 20 minutes north of the Kansas border), I know your February pain. But!! Every time I look out at the snow covered garden I see so much beauty to be had. My arches will be overgrown in tomato and cucumber, morning glories and gourds before I know it. Also, I get my first smell of raw dirt when starting seedlings indoors. February… the month the dream and plan and find hope!

  11. Shawnnee Holmes

    Here in piedmont North Carolina you never know what the weather will be in February. Some years we have our worst ice storms, however, this week we are going to hit the low 70’s a couple of days. My daffodils are up about 5 inches it’s been so spring like the last couple weeks. Some flowering trees are budding. With the warm weather going on we know we’ll have another freeze soon to ruin everything. So looks like we’ll be grilling this week and enjoying the warm weather, yes, in February. Hope this doesn’t mean we’re gonna have a cold Spring!

  12. Joanne

    I am enjoying February in Mexico, so no complaints here. Besides it is my birthday month as well as that of a cousin, several friends, a sister-in-law, daughter-in-law and granddaughter! February can be fine!
    I would love some marigold seeds!

  13. Michele D Yates

    Marigolds! Such darlings of the vegetable patch! Fireballs look fetching and I will certainly check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac on how to best grow them; thanks. February is the month of hope around here. With days of cold spattered with warm days holding the promise of Spring in the southeastern piedmont. Too early, but still, there will be buds of daffodils and crocus that bloom. The Lenton roses will continue their bashful way across the dance floor. Thanks for your words and thank you for the opportunity to win beautiful seeds. February is the month of watching seeds bring forth the promise of the next season.

  14. Heather

    Last Friday I had an “a-ha” moment of realizing I’d had enough of winter. I’m talking a “sinking stomach do I have to endure another day of this” feeling. But I live in southern Manitoba where we’ve survived (so far) a couple of months of -25C/-13F weather with bone-chilling wind-chill factors. Been taking my kitty heated rice socks twice a day for weeks! (Thanks for the idea, by the way.) Usually we have clear, blue, sun-filled skies to make up for the cold, but not this year. Sigh. Sorry, this isn’t cheery, but I already have lots of seeds to plant in great confusion and profusion in my garden. I always save seeds from my Marigolds so I can stick them in yet more places because they’re lovely, hardy, easy to grow, easy to save seeds from, and don’t get eaten by deer!

      1. Heather

        We’re in gardening zone 3a which is 117-120 frost-free days but there is a lot of variability from year to year. Sometimes 3b or 4a plants do well if they’re tucked in a warm spot. I typically plant frost sensitive annuals May 20ish, and wait until early to mid June to plant heat lovers. Your hoop house posts have given me lots of ideas!

  15. Stephan

    Beautiful post….I too am a mad heritage tomato planter and do as you do; plant marigolds in every space of the beds.
    I do it because they keep the bugs away…and they look sensational.
    As for February…well I live in the Antipodes, (Adelaide, South Australia) and February is not cold! Though today is a “mild day” .
    I was ordained as an Anglican (Episcopalian) priest on Feb 8 1981…it was 42.5C (that would be 108F) at 4 p.m. in the afternoon ( and probably in the high 30s at midnight).
    I LOVE February…as long as I can have it in the Southern hemisphere.

    PS Would love to have seeds but I doubt that they will get through our rigorous quarantine, but if you allocate them I will check and try to get them thru’
    Best wishes and keep warm

    PPS The mild day was pretty cool for us….I had to wear a jumper (sweater?) …it was 22/71 (C/F)….brrr that’s cold! ……(for us )

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      71 degrees, Stephan? Goodness, however do you cope?? (wink) Thank you so much for your nice comment, allllll the way from South Australia! I’d love to hear more about the heritage tomatoes you grow there. I suppose you are harvesting them now? *drooling* I will be planting seeds very soon, my heirloom tomatoes which I will plant out in the hoophouse and garden in late April and May. But i won’t get any tomatoes until late July or August! But they are definitely worth the wait! Happy February!

  16. Julie

    I love Marigolds they look so pretty next to my tomato plants..Beautiful weather for us in Florida right now so everything is blooming and looking great hopefully we will not have a serious cold front…Have a great Valentine’s Day everyone off to celebrate my moms Birthday.

  17. Diane Young Decker

    I used marigolds for years to banish the peskier inhabitants of my vegetable garden. They work! Your new variety is very cool. People don’t take them seriously because they are so easy to grow. You don’t have to buy plants at the nursery, don’t even have to start from seed indoors and baby them until planting out time. Loosen your soil a little, throw some seeds down, rake over it a bit, and you are done. Flowers forever. Yet they are not going to take over your entire yard, like say, mint. I have a little spot in front of our house just screaming for some easy care color. Glad you reminded me about marigold seeds.

  18. Rachel Pye

    I’ve been so busy. I’ve sorely missed reading your blog. I love stepping into your world! Down here in coastal South Carolina, snow is a big deal. We had our biggest deal in 70 years this January: 7 inches of snowfall in one day. I’m not sure what everyone else was up to, but my husband and I put our heads together with our endless-explosive-energy 15 year old neighbor, and after much trial and error discovered the best combination. We tied a knee board about 20 feet behind a 4 wheeler and took turns dragging each other through the pristine fields, until the sun went down.
    But that was January.
    In February, it is just cold. Not nearly as cold as Nebraska, but for a people accustomed to languishing in 100° heat and 100% humidity 3/4 of the year, it just seems uncalled for. But! In February, my Baltimore Orioles show up! I get to keep my darker Orchard Orioles through the summer. They come and sing to us from whatever tree or antenna or fencepost is closest to what we’re doing. They arrest my husband mid-coming in from work. He stands there in his truck door, lunchbox in hand, listening to his Oriole serenading him. Something like sirens I suppose.
    But the Baltimore Orioles always catch me by surprise. I see one flash of too-bright-orange, and that’s it. I spend the next hour adjusting my binoculars, Peterson Field guide in hand, trying to catch another glimpse. Finally his lady draws him out of the very center of the dense little oak tree right in front of me.
    Orioles and grackles. Right now, as I type, I’m listening to the constant backdrop of rusty gates swinging open and closed and open and closed. When my boat-tailed grackles show up, they completely fill the tops of the tall pine trees across the street. I’m not sure how they survive, because it seems to me that all they do is rustle around and sing their ceaseless song. It blends in to the cold backdrop and forms the accompaniment for everything I do. It’s not unpleasant. It has an almost nostalgic quality.
    Anyway, I’m looking for time to carve out to start all my lettuces and greens. It gets too hot too soon here to wait much longer. I’d love to start some fancy marigolds too! I posted on Facebook, may the best gentle reader win

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Rachel, I have sorely missed hearing from you! I love the way you write, and you are so observant and poetic in your descriptions. I love Baltimore Orioles, too, but it’s way too early here for them. They are beautiful! Mack and I are avid bird-watchers and we love to feed birds and watch for them at the feeders. Those orioles are really a treat!

  19. Sue D

    We have so many birthdays in February that it does not seem dreary to us. A grandson was born on Groundhog’s day, a granddaughter on Valentine’s day, a son at the end of the month , not to mention nephews, nieces and parents.
    I love to plant marigolds around my tomatoes too.
    I make a cottonwood bud salve for my cracked hands and heals–look up Balm of Gilead salve for recipes.

  20. Barbara

    One great thing about February is that you really notice that the daylight hours are longer and it is no longer dark at 4:00 p.m. Spring really is coming!

  21. Janet Dugan

    I am a Nebraskan too,and while I adore seeing the tomato seedlings grow and the birds growing bright new feathers,the best thing about February is that it is only 28 days long!

  22. Debbie

    We are having temperatures of 7 degrees to 20 degrees, it was short sleeve weather today. tomorrow in the 70’s, a n d by this weekend in the 30’s. We say here in northern Arkansas (Flippin)) if you don’t like the weather just wait a day….it will change. At least you get beautiful snow when its cold, we usually get sleet and freezing rain…not so pretty. I have never seen that variety of marigold, they are the most beautiful I have ever seen. I have marigolds, cosmos and zinnia’s in my circle drive. and a lot of marigolds in my tomato and squash and cucumber plants. I am an optimist to the highest degree but I am going to have to order me some of these seeds, can’t leave it to chance on growing these beauties this year. Thank you so much for sharing your self with us. I miss the snow every year, I do think it makes the cold more bearable if you can have a little fun in it. Just cold or frozen rain isn’t much fun. LOL I started to school in Minnesota and have so many great memories of ice fishing and sledding and riding on snow mobiles. then we moved to South Dakota and what fun the snow drifts were and my brother and I would have so much fun, from there we moved to Arizona in the middle of a blizzard in December what a shock to the system that was. laugh a long time…then we moved to Arkansas and we didn’t get any snow at all the first year here, the next year we had 23 inches in February on Valentines day. We just have surprises all the time! But I do love my Arkansas until the end of July and August, then the heat just kills me… again love hearing from you, there is good and bad everywhere buts it ALL good when we are with our family doing what we love like enjoying the dirt and the seeds and the miracles God makes out of the two when we put them together. I have all my seed catalogs by my chair dreaming of spring!

  23. Jeannie Siegling

    Hello Amy, I am a new member of your blog and am really enjoying your posts. Thank you, for all that you share and for your fun stories of family (feathered and otherwise) adventures. Here in west-central IL, on the bluffs of the Mississippi river just north of St. Louis, MO, we’ve been on a weather yo-yo. Last Sunday we had freezing rain & snow, making the roads a bit slick for a couple of days, and today, it’s in the mid 70’s! And tomorrow it’s only supposed to be 37 with more snow/rain expected Saturday morning. But I digress.
    There are a lot of outside projects just waiting for warmer weather, but one that always gets done is the planting of marigolds. I love their bright, cheery happiness! At this point, I’m just using “earth boxes” for my tomato, bell pepper, and herb plantings (just being me, I don’t have to plant a whole lot of them), but I always put marigolds in with them as well as all around the yard – even in hanging baskets. I have faithfully plucked the finished blooms and saved them to sprinkle in my henhouse nesting boxes. I tried planting them (and mint) around the chicken coop, but the girls scratched them all into oblivion. Maybe I’ll try planter boxes with little fences around them to spruce the area up.
    Thank you, for your offer of seeds from these beautiful marigolds and thank you, for including me as one of your “gentle readers”.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Jeannie, it’s so nice to meet you! It sounds like we have a lot in common. I have planted several plantings–ever-hopeful, don’tcha know?–around my chicken coop. Even one year I planted window boxes full of flowers! But the chooks (free range much of the time) enjoy all the plantings even more than I do, and eventually enjoy them to oblivion! So the yard around my chicken coop is a wasteland of dust baths and well-trampled dirt! Oh well, maybe I’ll try again–covering them up with a hoop of chicken wire might be worth trying? Thank you for your sweet comment. Happy February to you!

  24. Linnae

    Something nice about February…hmm… Well, there is the chocolate that comes with Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is a good thing. Plus the 2 birthdays we celebrate this month. Love those 2.

    Oh wait–I thought of something! Our chickens started laying eggs at the beginning of this month! As first-time chicken owners, that was exciting.

    Marigolds are unfailingly cheerful. Maybe I will go look at some pictures of them now, to put me in a spring frame of mind!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      oh yes, and if you’re quick about it, you can refresh your chocolate stash the day after Valentine’s Day, for 50% off!! 🙂

  25. Tom Hoffman

    In our part of the country (Northeast Ohio) we don’t have a particular slogan for the month of February. Rather, we refer to the last half of February and the month of March as “mud season”. The snow melts, the ground thaws and temperatures oscillate between freezing and thawing. The maple trees are tapped and steam can be seen rising from sugarhouses. Mud season truly is a fitting slogan when you are carrying two five gallon pails of sap through ankle deep mud to empty them into the gathering tank. A more positive slogan could be “maple season”. The sap running is a genuine sign that life is once again returning to the landscape. It may still be a month or two before leaves cover the maple trees but the sap running guarantees it is not far off. And fresh syrup on a stack of pancakes is comforting indeed!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      OH I wish we had more maple trees here, Tom. That sounds absolutely lovely. And I can’t imagine anything more comforting than a stack of pancakes with yummy fresh maple syrup on it!!

  26. Tina

    February is for sure a hard month that seems much longer than it is, but it makes you appreciate the warmth of spring so much more when it gets here!

  27. Joan Beinetti

    I am new to your blog. I found it because I was trying to find out how to reheat runzas which I learned about on Facebook and then made for dinner yesterday. Yum! Anyway, something cheering about February is that it usually has only 28 days. 🙂 Upstate New York (as in near Lake Ontario, not just a few miles from NYC) has long, dark, cold winters and I enjoyed reading your potential slogans for February.

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