Jan 142022
The Garden in Winter – 2022

When I wrote my Goals and Intentions for 2022 and said I wanted this year to be about positivity, I didn’t intend this to mean positive with COVID. Yes, that’s correct, I’m sick with COVID. I’ve had a bad cough, continuous fever, and zero energy for over a week. I’m certainly grateful for my jabs/booster and for Lucy and Wilbur taking care of me. Hopefully, I’ll be on the mend soon! Given that I’m self-isolating, I haven’t been able to wander around and enjoy some of the sunny days we’ve had recently. Despite feeling unwell, I did make it out for a little jaunt around our garden, and I want to share what’s happening in the garden in winter for 2022.

Back garden in January 2022
Back garden in January 2022

Winter is a time of dormancy and reflection. It’s also a time for planning. I’ve been thinking about what I want to grow in the allotment, and how I plan on transforming the front garden into an English cottage garden. It’s also a great time of year to watch the song birds at the feeders! I encourage you to pause and take some time to appreciate the beauty of plants dormant in winter; you’ll be surprised to see how is alive in the bleak winter landscape!

The Christmas Tree

First, I thought I’d share about our Christmas tree. This chunky fellow served us well over the festive period. It is a potted tree, and, unlike our tree in 2020, it hardly dropped any needles. It is in such good condition that Lucy and I figured we would tuck it in the back corner of the garden and see if it keeps until next year. So, here is the Christmas tree, hanging out behind the compost bin.

Christmas tree in garden
Christmas tree hanging out in the garden until next winter!

Life and Death in the Garden

Arguably, it’s far too early in the year for the bulbs to be emerging. In fact, many of the spring bulbs such as the crocus were popping up in November. That’s climate change for you! Hopefully we don’t have a cold snap in February which stunts or kills them… Aside from the vibrant beauty of spring bulbs poking up from the soil, there is also something so magical and peaceful about the dead plants, or I guess sleeping plants. As the cover picture shows, this rosehip has reached the end of its life, but it’s still beautiful and the plant is perfectly healthy. Likewise, this seed head from a white Japanese anemone adds structure and interest to the winter garden. I’ll cut them back in spring before the new growth begins.

Winter Colour

There may be less colour in the winter garden than in other seasons, but blooms are still abundant. My favourite winter flower for the home garden is the pansy. They are economical and keep going from autumn through to summer! I also picked up this Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) which adds a nice pop of colour to the front door pots, alongside orange violas.

Productivity in Winter

Winter is the best season for appreciating the birds in the back garden. They are so cheeky and wait impatiently for me to re-fill the feeders. Birds need a lot of fat to keep them going through winter, and they are found busily picking at seeds and suet balls throughout the day. The little robin is my favourite; he’s tenacious and very inquisitive! Similarly, the raised bed is still productive. I’ve got perpetual spinach, beetroot, and carrots still growing in the garden. At the allotment, I can still harvest leeks and chard.

Nature for Mental Health

Lastly, I wanted to share a recent “follow” on Twitter and Instagram. Emma Mitchell is the author of The Wild Remedy, and she looks at how nature positively affects the chemicals in our brain which helps our mental health. Her posts will certainly cheer up your timeline! More importantly, I encourage you to get outside each day and appreciate the beauty and healing power of nature for yourself. There is always something amazing going on in the garden, even in the dead of winter!

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