So the snow has arrived.  It started about 6:00am just as we were beginning to think the forecasters had been over-cautious.  Heavy snow persistently falling so that now some 4 hours later we have around 2 inches of snow laying in the garden.  I love snow if I don’t have to get anywhere in it.  I love the way it seems to erase all the details leaving an almost blank canvas in its wake.  If like me you are a gardener who is never satisfied with their space and who is  considering a serious redesign then the snow is a god send as it lets you see the space for what it is.


The above photograph is of the garden at 8:00am with the large prostrate rosemary in the foreground.  I become very worried about the birds when we have this sort of weather particularly those that feed on the ground.  With the snow falling steadily and forecast to do so for most of the day any areas I clear for food will quickly be covered.  So I moved the small patio table up the garden, cleared the snow underneath this and put out food.  Within minutes the birds were there feeding away and fighting over the food.  I am having to go out every couple of hours to top up the food.  I have also made sure there is a good water supply.


I decided to go for a walk to the local common probably no more than a 10 minute walk up the road in order to see it in its pristine beauty before the  sledgers and toboggners arrived.  Unsurprisingly there was hardly any one around, the silence palpable, not even a bird call or a distant car.  The only sound was the crunching of the fresh  snow under my feet.   I live on a small housing estate which is all up and down and therefore no one had ventured out on foot or by car, it would be pointless and futile.  When I reached the nearest proper road (see above) there were signs of a few cars having passed along it and I did see a solitary 4×4 but there was none of the chaos that rained a few years back when people were trying to get to work or get their children to school.  I wonder if the weather warnings and the fact it is a Friday  has made people see sense and stay  put.  During my walk I only saw two vehicles go along the major road running along the top of the common which is always gritted and passable if you can get to it.


The common was more or less empty.  I could just make out a couple with their dog (see the tiny dots at the top right hand side of the photo) and over the far side some tobogganers, including my eldest son.  Well I think he was there! I could hear them and just make out their shapes but the snow was falling so fast that it was difficult to see very far. In the photograph above you should be able to see the Malvern Hills and the houses on its slopes or even their house lights but it is a total wipe out.


I turned around and headed home soon finding that my footprints were already disappearing as more snow fell.  To think tomorrow when the snow has stopped falling the common will be full of children, and adults, throwing themselves down the slopes on sledges and toboggans. I will hear their screams of joy and excitement from my garden, the faint sound of cars will return.  But for today  the common was almost mine alone in its  beautiful wintery splendour and by now there will be no sign I was even there.

Update: just watched 11 Fieldfares and 2 Bramblings feeding in the garden as well as the usual Robins, tits, Starlings, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Blackcaps, Magpies, oh and Pheasant!  Really pleased

34 Comments on “Snow

  1. I felt I was with you, sharing your walk, thank you. Our snow has mostly melted this morning, although I know that in villages a little higher in altitude there is a lot of snow and temperatures are below zero so the snow will stay until the promised rain comes tomorrow. Christina

    • Hi Christina – we have temperatures below zero forecast for until at last Tuesday which is disappointing as I am desperate for sun

  2. Like Christina above, I too felt I was on your walk with you – and thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s snowing heavily here but I’ll be out there with my camera if and when it stops.

    • Hi Alison
      You could post your snow photos on a blog – that would be nice to see 🙂

    • I’d love to but have never really explored how to set up a blog (although I have tried). I’ve kept a computer based garden journal for a year, almost on a daily basis, and imported photos, but I’ve never done anything with it other than read it. Now I’ve started on 2013 – so lots of snowy pictures! But it’s the main reason I enjoy reading other gardening blogs.

  3. Hello Helen

    I am having the same problem with my birds – as fast as I put it down on the floor the snow is covering it – but it is slacking off a bit now – we were forecast for 2″ and that is exactly what we have got maybe slightly more and at exactly the time predicted – wish they could do the same when the sun is due to shine!!

    • Hi Beverley – our snow started almost as scheduled too which is rather unusual. Normally the weather seems to be an hour behind the forecast here!!

  4. Yes, I have enjoyed your snow experience. I too like freshly laid snow that crunches as you walk. I hate having to get to work in it and would prefer not to be out. In south Devon we had very heavy and gusty winds last night. The rain woke me at 3.30 and it has rained since. The rain turned to snow at 7.30 for about 30 mins, but the ground was too wet for it to lay. We are now back to rain. Princetown on the edge of Dartmoor has had a real dump of snow – 6″ according to the BBC Devon radio station & lots of drifts too because of the wind.

    • Hi Julie
      I reckon we have around 5 – 6″ now but it stopped snowing about 5 so that was 11 hrs of steady snow. I am hoping that the further light snow they forecast doesn’t appear

  5. Snow IS pretty, but esåecially while it’s still faling. It soon becomes somewhat less pretty after the grit and the cars have made an impact on it…

    It looks like we’ll have frost here in Denmark for the next fortnight or so, so our snow looks set to stay, but with very little new snow falling, so we will probably end up with a lot of grey, brown and black snow all over the place. But for now it looks pretty!

    • Hi Flaneur – the forecast is indicating we will have light snow and frost for the next week so no doubt we will have lots of grey, brown and black snow soon too

  6. I woke up this morning to find no snow in my South Carolina garden, a great disappointment since the TV weathermen had dangled this juicy carrot since early in the week. Though my boys are grown, I feel sad for the little ones who went to bed last night after flushing ice cubes down the toilet while shouting “let it snow” five times, and who then put wooden spoons under their beds with great hope in their hearts (these are the things children do here to make it snow but don’t ask me why).

    We did, luckily, get more than 2 inches of rain yesterday before freezing temperatures arrived, which will be a great boon to nearby lakes and reservoirs, not to mention gardens. This morning the river behind my house is a torrent; a fearsome and exhilarating sight.

    Thanks for your beautiful photographs and lovely, thoughtful prose. They were a welcome consolation.

    • Hi Marian
      Thanks for visiting. I love the idea of children flushing ice cubes down toilets to make it snow. What a laugh.

    • Hi Jason – oh tsk yes I meant prostrate rosemary, I blame autospelling and writing blog post when I’m meant to be working.

  7. I was hoping the white stuff wouldn’t arrive here, but I knew it was futile when virtually the entire was forecast to have some. And loads arrived today. Looks very pretty though!

    • Hi guys
      It is pretty until we all go driving over it turning it to slush and ice.

  8. Your bird count is very impressive, especially the Pheasant!
    Nothing like snow for the magic transformation and the silence that can accompany it.

  9. The weather forecast here called for the snow to begin around 10 or 11 last night. There was none then, but I opened one eye around 1 and it had arrived. They are getting better. 🙂 A quiet day here also.

  10. Hello again Helen, oh my… what a wonderful collection of birds you have had visiting! Delighted to hear about your Fieldfares and Bramblings 😀

    That’s the thing about bad winter weather (especially snow) it brings in bird species to your garden that you never thought you’d see! Not going anywhere tomorrow, so I’m quite excited about breakfast by the window and watching who will visit should it continue snowing overnight. We haven’t seen Blackcaps for a few years now. Nuthatches are slowly moving north so perhaps they will visit one day. A pheasant we have had a few years ago too. In answer to your question, I’d say the birds do like the ground mesh trays – it’s easier/leas messy for you too 😉

    Ah… I completely get what you meant about your walk and how your journey is so quickly erased and what a contrast to tomorrows expected activity and noises. I think I recognise your tree again too. Today you became invisible for a short while and it’s really quite nice isn’t it 😀

  11. I loved what you said about seeing the garden as it truly is in the snow. That is so true, and one reason I wish we did have a little snow every year. It is amazing the transformation the garden takes with a blanket of snow lying upon it.

  12. How pretty We are having a windy summer – keep waiting for hot sun – usually only have a sheet on at night but last night silk duvet AND mohair rug!!! Not swimming every day because of weather, distance (up in rain forest Titirangi nearest beach Cornwallis 10klms pn Manakau Harbour on the west and pron to sw or at daughters on the Waitamata Harbour – east more gentle and warmer but ;have had big winds 6r going to appointments with Jim’s cancer. Slept in until 10.30am this morning so tired of running hundreds of kls this week. Family have gone camping again so hope nice and sunny for them.

  13. Yes, much easier to see the bones of the garden with a little snow…. that looks like a little more though. After a while it gets blob-like. You could try shoveling/sweeping your paths and seating area into the back yard to picture where the new beds would be… maybe when it warms up a bit. I hope it is warmer there than here: we are huddled inside with temps down to 19 f (-7 C).

  14. Our home looks like yours now with a fresh snowfall yesterday. It always looks so beautiful and magical while snowing.

  15. How lovely – and what a great collection of birds. I’ve been trying to tempt some of mine out, but all I seem to have attracted in Next Door’s Cat (at least, going by the footprints, she doesn’t seem to have caught anything)… my snow is rather disappointing by comparison, but we’re doing good ice. I need my crampons…

  16. You have sung the praises of snow that I love too…everything looks so lovely there in the snow…I drove to work yesterday in snow like that but we are prepared for it. I love how you are helping the birds…ours are more used to it and hunker down in this weather…I do have suet out for them

  17. What wonderful photos of tree skeletons in snow, so evocative. I do love the way snow seems to muffle everything and make it over, it’s always a shame when it gets to that well-trodden verging on slush stage, so thank you for sharing your near pristine walk – and lucky birds to have you feeding them so well.

  18. Winter is the only time of year that I’ve not visited the Malverns – your photos show that your part of the world looks just as beautiful as it does the rest of the year. How thrilling it must have been to get out there when all was quiet Helen. Most envious of your fieldfares, bramblings, blackcaps and the pheasant – send some this way please.

  19. I love and envy your snowy landscape, unfortunately the closest we come to snow is a light dusting of frost in winter. Keep warm and stay safe.

  20. Fascinating! Amazing! The closest I have been to snow was viewing some from a train as we travelled through Switzerland years ago. Still haven’t managed to get to the Australian Alps in winter. We are still in the mid-30s in our area here in SE Queensland, with some fairly violent summer storms last night on the other side of the Great Dividing Range. Thank you for the beautiful photos and descriptions Helen.

    • Hi Christie
      Thanks for popping by. I would love to see the Australian Alps and I would also like to visit the Kimberleys. One day maybe

  21. Pingback: Snow Blues | The Patient Gardener’s Weblog

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