I don’t get the whole New Year’s Eve party thing. I never have done and can recall being at a party as a teenager and wondering why we wanted to make so much fuss about time passing, and with those years far behind me, feel that even more so now. But that’s not to say I don’t welcome an opportunity for reflection, and the end of the year is an ideal time to do so. As every UK-based gardener will know, this winter has been so very wet, and we’ve some months of it left yet, which has meant that winter gardening jobs have been delayed over and over, especially when working full time means that the only daylight available to get in the garden is at the weekends – so if they are a wash out that is more precious days lost.
When I booked time off between Christmas and New Year I had such plans for the garden not to mention my allotment – both would finally be ‘put to bed’ for the winter, one of my favourite tasks. However the dry days I’d envisaged did not materialise and apart from a brief couple of hours in the garden yesterday, most of the things on my ‘to do’ list remain undone and garden and allotment continue to look rather ragged around the edges. But it was a pleasure to be outside yesterday, and whilst far too wet to do any digging I was able to clear away leaves I’d missed earlier, and in so doing, reveal small signs of Spring – a welcome reminder that no matter what the weather throws at us, Nature will out. Now that we’ve passed the Winter Solstice and gradually each day brings us a little more daylight, so our plants start into life again.
So for me the saving graces at the end of the year are the fat buds of the hellebores, the grey green spikes of the snowdrops just starting to show and the bold green and white leaves of the Arum italicum ‘Pictum’ – they confirm that this weather will pass and the ground will begin to dry – and we will cope with whatever 2013 brings us ‘garden wise’.
Happy New Year!