Our Winter Garden – Dec 2020

We are, I guess, about 2/3 of the way through the first month of meteorological winter, and so have a fair bit of the season remaining.  At the same time, yesterday (Dec 21st) was the shortest day of the year, and so the days are growing longer!  Two sides of the same coin perhaps.  That’s certainly so for our winter garden.  

Much of it seems shut down and waiting for Spring.  Autumn leaves are (mostly) gathered and bagged in anticipation of good leaf mould; there are areas of blank and dormant soil where nothing seems to be happening; on a day like today when the weather’s still, cold and a touch damp there is an atmosphere of “hunkered-down-ness” (if there is such a word).  A closer look though reveals that the action is already under way.  Bulbs are sprouting, both in bowls in the greenhouse and in the garden itself.  Nigella from last season has generously self-seeded and is growing away nicely – will it survive the first frost?  Sweet Peas are coming on well in the greenhouse, which is itself internally wrapped in its insulating layer of bubble wrap; and the winter pansies are cheering the beds with a smudge of colour, as is the heather.

We have a “Venus Fly Trap” in the greenhouse, a Christmas present for our granddaughter (at her request!) which we hope is going to survive – we aim to keep a minimum temperature of 7C in there and we understand that it sort of hibernates in the winter months.  There are also geraniums, some lifted from the beds to overwinter, and some grown from cuttings that seem to be taking.

Months and years are of course human constructs; based on nature of course, but nonethelessl segments into which we try to divide the ongoing passage of time.  In reality there is a wondrous ongoing cycle of events as the seasons come and go, and our joy and privilege is to ride the waves (to mix metaphors!) as we enjoy both watching and participating in the natural creativity of our world.

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