Sunday, 31 January 2016

January in the garden

No garden looks its best in January and the garden is squelchy all over from the endless rain.  Nonetheless there are some bright points, some from the unseasonable warmth, such as the daffodils I planted at the bottom of the garden where they would be seen every time I went past the back door.  There is something rather wonderful about planning something unseen, under the ground, thinking ahead to what it will be in months to come.  Arranging bulbs in little holes in the ground, thinking out how they will look, plotting beauty.  Last year, without bulbs, was dismal, I missed the concentrated sunshine glow of daffodils, harbingers of warmth to come.  There is something so cheering in the bulbs and the way they brighten up late winter.


In the bed outside the kitchen window I have begun to put plants that offer some winter colour, cyclamen, dogwood and hellebore, again to have something to look out at in winter.  The dogwood came from Buckingham nurseries, who sell good quality plants at superb prices, and it has settled right in, working away putting out fresh shoots.  I'd like to put some holly nearby, how anyone can have a garden without holly is beyond me, my previous homes have always had holly and ivy and birds find it such good shelter and a source of food.

(not the world's greatest photograph)

My other big garden excitement is a compost bin.  Never did I think I would get so excited by compost!  Shortly after Christmas my dad arrived at the door with a mystery piece of plastic - which turned out to be the hatch cover for the compost bin and an early birthday present.  He completed the present with a bagful of his compost, complete with worms, to get me started.


Hopefully there will be more to show next month and hopefully I can keep up giving updates on the garden.  I think, I hope, I will become a gardener, being outside, absorbed in a task, is so good for my mental well-being, even if I can only do it for five, ten or at most twenty minutes at a time.

Monday, 18 January 2016

A bad year for blogging

It cannot be denied that as far as I am concerned 2015 was a bad year for blogging.  The completeness of the change brought about by moving house has got me out of the habit of blogging.  Let us hope that 2016 is different, now I have had this house a year and had another birthday, both of which feel like little landmarks.  If last year was about moving out and getting the house set up, what is this year for?

My strepocarpus, I am developing a love of houseplants

So far not a lot, as I'm finishing my second virus since Christmas, though I have got a lot of knitting done while glued to the sofa by fatigue.  Last week I finished a baby dress in a yarn that just suited the pattern and hopefully when I have sewn the second button on I will get around to showing it off.  In the past day or so I have started on some socks for a cousin; as my sock drawer is rather full I have been concentrating on knitting socks for other people.  Am I alone in finding it hard to stop knitting socks?  If I do not have any on the needles I can get a deep longing to knit a sock. Still, there are worse addictions, right?

A recent picture of Willow

I think I will start keeping a blogging ideas notebook so that when I have ideas I don't forget them again.  This year I would like to do something each month on the garden, even showing the weeds and failures.  No point pretending to be better than I am.  Gardening has been so good for me mentally and physically and it provides a safe calming thing to think about when I am anxious.  There will hopefully be more on books, faith, knitting and other making.

Here goes, fingers crossed.