My boots are well & truly wet now & it’s looking like it’s time to pack them away for a couple of months especially as we’ve had cold weather too. Working in the cold & wet is truly miserable during the dark months & I know some gardeners like me take a break in December. But excursions don’t stop & this month so for enjoyment purposes only I’ll be visiting the gardens at Kew especially to see the glass house and the new one mile path of twinkling lights that make up this magical after dark experience. It’s open until 10pm so there will be maybe there will be an opportunity to miss the people who want to see Santa.
Apparently gardens in Toronto disappear under a sheet of snow between December & March with temperatures between minus 3C & minus 6C. Sounds blissful in a way because you really would be forced to stay indoors & not do any gardening. However (and thankfully) this doesn’t occur in our neck of the woods & we do have occasional pleasant winter days when we can get outside & paint the fence/clean the greenhouse/spread muck/turn the compost & do some bare root planting. Between now & next March I have all of these jobs on my list (and some of these for clients too).
There is some fun to be had in December with festivities & fun of one kind or another. I’m organising some willow wreath workshops on 5/6th December at Frithsden Vineyard & 12/13th December at Lockers Park School. All materials are locally sourced; the willow is grown in Berkhamsted by the Sunnyside Rural Trust & the flowers, seeds heads & foliage are foraged from the hedgerows. The workshops are terrific fun & everyone is very welcome except small children. Get in touch if you want to come.
The footprint on the materials is very low as the willow wreath can be used again & the foliage is compostable. I find the plastic wreaths for sale in the shops quite abhorrent, even some of the fresh wreaths are decorated with fruits that have been soaked in unknown chemicals to stop them going mouldy. If you’re buying a fresh wreath or garland this year look at the list of ingredients (so to speak) & compost what you can.
People have bought greenery into their homes since time began. It was thought to ward off evil spirits associated with the dark winter nights & also to celebrate the forthcoming new spring growth. On that note I wish you a safe & warm mid-winter.