Sunday dawned sunny and bright, the strong winds had died down – a perfect time to find my old gardening coat and do a bit of pottering in the garden – the first time in I don’t know how many weeks. It made me happy – I had missed being outdoors – a little tidying and watering in the greenhouse, emptying old pots of summer plants and stacking them away; clearing dead foliage, a bit of weeding and getting close to the soil, seeing if anything was growing – pushing its way slowly through the soil. And yes – there are signs of life. The fresh green shoots of Chives – the odd bulb here and there, small green leaves forming in the crowns of plants – the garden coming to life again overcoming the ravages of winter – against all the odds.
Soon I will be dusting off the propagators, checking out which seeds I will be growing this year – assessing which flowers and vegetables did well last year, and which I won’t be bothering with again. Trying to get back to basics and not giving myself too much extra work – simplifying tasks and growing methods – so that I can enjoy my outdoor life without too much stress and trying not to be too influenced by what other people are doing in Blogland.
some of the crops grown in 2014
On Tuesday, late morning, the sky turned dark and huge snowflakes fell – covering the ground quickly. Sadly, the snowflakes were very wet and soon disappeared – but it was quite dramatic whilst it lasted. And how it transforms – just a light dusting can turn the landscape into a winter wonderland.
The same thing happened on Wednesday snow fell overnight, but stayed this time; walking out to feed the birds, ice had formed, pleasantly crunching underfoot. Blackbirds suddenly appeared out of nowhere, cold and hungry – I threw apples down for them – hoping they would take advantage of them before the crows appeared to carry them away.
Last week my lovely blogging friend Snowbird at Gardens and Wildlife passed on the Liebster Award to me – how kind of her to think of me - and although I had decided not to accept awards, I thought I would answer her questions anyway – it would be churlish not to.
1. What is the worst injury you have sustained while gardening/plotting? In-depth gory details please…. I sliced the end of my little finger off whilst using the hedge trimmer.
2. How would/do you deal with wet, slushy, soggy leaves fermenting on the lawn that refuse to be raked up? I leave anything to do with the lawns and leaves to husband – it is his domain.
3. Have you ever had an invasion of Bamboo trying to colonize your garden? If yes, how did you get rid of it? I don’t have any bamboo in the garden.
4. Do you have any irrational fears/terrors re an animal or insect? If yes, how/when did it begin? Moths, in the house – a childhood fear.
5. Has anyone
else ever danced barefoot in the rain or hugged a tree? Definitely not – I’m much too sensible/inhibited for that malarkey – although I wish I wasn’t.
6. Do you believe that the moon can influence the growth of plants? Anything is possible.
7.Do you have a favourite flower legend/story/superstition? Once upon a time there was a girl called Violet. Her stepmother didn’t like her, so one day she decided to get rid of the little girl. She took her over to the forest and left her there in the cold of winter. Not knowing how to get out of the forest she fell asleep and froze to death. But she didn’t die. She managed to transform herself into a little violet flower which we call Viorica (Violet) and from that moment on, Violets blossom in spring before the snow melts.
8. Have you ever used a plant medicinally? And I’ll have NO stories of magic mushrooms or Belladonna mind!!! A Comfrey poultice to reduce swelling.
9. Which is the most important to you, house or garden? 50/50
10. Do you constantly talk/complain about the weather to anyone who will listen? Of course, I’m British!
11. What is the most you have spent on a plant over the last year? Hard to say – the money I spend on plants sometimes gets out of control.
Last Saturday on a whim I went into the hairdressers to book to have my hair cut. I have been wearing it long for the last couple of years, usually piled up on top, out of the way, easy to keep without too much fuss. Wednesday, the day of the haircut dawns, nerves set in. I had about six inches cut off and it is now shoulder length – ooer! I feel really strange – almost lightheaded – just love the way hairdressers can make your hair feel silky and shiny – I think I like it, although it will take some getting used to – just have to wait and see if husband notices the difference.
One of my Christmas presents from a friend this year was a ticket to go and see the ballet, Swan Lake, on Saturday – I wasn’t sure I would be able to go because of the coughing – but it seems to have subsided a little – so I’ll let you know all about it next week. And another present from a friend is for the following Saturday - High Tea at Kilworth Hall – very posh – looking forward to both events tremendously.
‘Til next time – take care and keep warm.