Winter has never been a favourite season for me or even a mildly welcomed one. It is the bottom of the pile. I have found it too still, too grey and obviously too cold. My preference has always been for spring and autumn. Both seasons of significant change, generally fine weather and less overwhelming than the blowsy bountiful, bright summer.
However I am slowly beginning to appreciate winter more. Despite a loathing of snow and it’s inconveniences I find the way it blanks out all the details liberating. Every thing seems new, fresh to the eye. The skeleton trees come into their own, sinister and dark against the leaden skies. In contrast the bright pristine snow glistens and softens everything into velvety undulations.
Sometimes we have a hoar frost and we enter the mystical and magical world of Narnia. As with the snow there is a silence which conversely can be deafening. No birds sing or flit through branches, nothing stirs. I particularly enjoy the melting of the ice and snow when a soft chime of dripping water rings out and there is anticipation that winter will soon pass and life in the garden will start afresh.
So far this year we have been spared the ‘joys’ of snow and ice; a welcome respite from my perspective. It has been relatively mild although almost overwhelming wet. The Malvern Hills are known for their springs and the crystal clear water they produce. Consequently living on the side of these hills we are at the mercy of the springs and excess of water appearing seemingly wherever. The garden has developed a new sound of water seeping through the ground – it feels very earthy.
Although there hasn’t been a whiting out of the details as in recent years I am still finding winter an interesting season. The slowness of the season means that there is time to think and consider, to reflect, to plan. The perennials are no longer dominant, their showy flowers have disappeared and even the seed heads have gone having been flattened by the wind and rain. The garden is now waiting. The borders have been weeded and mulched, shrubs pruned. The mild winter has allowed the luxury of reviewing borders, removing and rejigging planting and creating new empty spaces waiting for inspiration to strike.
Winter is no longer a period of inertia and frustration. I am appreciating it as a breathing space, a time for me to rest, clear my over horticulturally obsessed mind and to refocus. It’s a time for the garden to show me what it needs in the coming year. Come spring we will be ready.
From Faery Song
Shed no tear! O shed no tear!
The flowers will bloom another year.
Weep no more! O weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
John Keats (1795-1821)
Took these photos on the common just 5 mins up the road from us on the way home from my parents this morning – what a nice white start to the year.
For more Garden Bloggers Musing go to Sweet Home and Garden Chicago
This Sunday I woke up to our first really frosty morning. For the first time I decided to take my camera and go outside to see what images I could capture. Prior to starting this blog less than a year ago I wouldnt have thought of doing this.
I find it constantly amazing the difference having a camera with me makes. I find myself looking at things far more carefully. In the past I would have just walked past these Sedums and Violas but with a camera in hand I found
that I really noticed how the frost was fringing the leaves like a form of delicate icing on a wedding cake.
With the fallen leaves, which I still have to tidy up, the frost excentuated the vines and even the serrated edges to the leaves.
I really loved the frosty effect on the decaying leaves of this fern
and most amazing of all even the moss in my lawn (or should I say the grass in my moss!) looked beautiful!