We have just one week before the unavoidable happens. We slip into ‘that’ season. The one where nothing much grows. It is so easy to sit back and do nothing and let this season wash over like some kind of horticultural hibernation. But where we are, we are blessed enough for mild weather. Having said that mild can still be cold. Well, cold for us. I reach for my socks most mornings now, although my beanie is still in my drawer and while rummaging about in the soil is cold, it isn’t unpleasant at this stage. However I will need to find my gloves soon or buy new ones as the sting of chilly soil can linger in my fingertips and the throbbing ache is enough for me to remember it now, a whole year later.
I need to give myself a bit of a shake in order to resist the desire to snuggle up in some cosy corner and just dream about gardening. I need to remind myself, we have it good, especially when comparing things to others. Some have such short growing seasons they can barely grow corn. My zucchini are still going strong after being planted over eight months ago! The frost will get them, but for now that is not the point. I need to embrace the cold as some invigorating tonic in the same way coffee can revive the sleepy.
I have to enjoy the season of winter, it is my friend in the garden. While its cold temperatures hopefully dip cold enough to purge my soil of pest and disease, I need to work alongside it and take advantage of calm of the season to tackle projects I have long wanted to, yet never seemed to find the time. That time is coming and I am starting to feel a buzz of excitement at the possibilities.
However while winter can seem to be endless, while you are in it, waiting anxiously for the spring, it is often over in the blink of an eye. The problem is we don’t have the long evenings of summer that fall one after another with bright skies and a balmy warmth. The days that have that incredible blue sky crispness are abruptly cut short by the sinking sun, just when it seems you are getting your teeth into whatever you are doing and the dark and the descending cold drive you indoors. But even then these days are few and far between. Most are soggy with raindrops or have ominous clouds promising to make it soggy with raindrops.
It is the ominous days that are the problems for me. It is so easy to say, I won’t go out to the garden, it looks like it is going to rain. But the thing is, if I want to get things done, I need to snap myself out of the hypnotic effect of the fireplace and embrace the ominous, because while winter is using bully behaviour and being threatening, until there are raindrops, it is just empty threats.
This is my time to be decisive and proactive and get big things done or I will drift endlessly from season to season reactively making changes caused by the demands of the vigorous growing season. Winter is my season to sort things out and I will thank myself for it.
This seems to be just the pep talk I needed to give myself. I am going to be out there this winter and I will make hay while the sun shines. It may be a thin weak sun beam, but I won’t squander endless winter days this season cowering from the possibility of rain. I shall be out there revelling in it and making things happen.
Bring on ‘that’ season. I’m ready for it.
Come again soon – I’ve orders supplies for a cool project.
Sarah the Gardener : o )