Late Autumn into Winter

At this time of year I often forget for worryingly long stretches of time that I like gardening. Dangerous for the seedlings and cuttings needing regular watering in the greenhouse and the unplanted bulbs waiting silently in their bags under the stairs and the sweetpea seeds loitering in their packets somewhere. My early Autumn energy dissipates and in December (and sometimes January) there is very little enthusiasm to be scraped from the bottom of my gardening barrel, but luckily this is usually erratic and temporary -a phase that some bright, cold winter sunshine usually kicks out of me before too much is lost.

And yet it is not always as straightforward as I’d like it to be to do what is needed and due. So now Christmas has been and almost gone, it might be the time to make new resolutions or at least recycle the old ones which I didn’t keep last year. So here, as a warm up, are some of the things I would like to do better:

Number 1: sort out my ad hoc relationship with plants and water: to remember the ones parched under cover and check them throughout the year, not just Summer. Also to tip water out of the trays housing my soaked and soused outdoor plants. And come to think of it, organising some proper water butts would be  both economical and handy.

Number 2: get seed sowing sooner and not later. Yes, to get early tomatoes and chillies, but also to reawaken gardening spirits. My tendency is to delay and delay until there comes a day when it somehow seems almost too late. Excellent Christmas present of a grow light should help with this.

Number 3: organise my system from seed to plant to make sure that we still have access to the paths edging our house. The overgrown and not very successful herb bed next to the greenhouse can be repurposed into a holding space for when everything is more robust in Spring. Then my family might be more reconciled to my propagating addiction.

The extra light each day is imperceptible, but there is a faint feel of it and a sense that the old year is gradually tipping into a new one when all the life which is on hold will spring up sooner than expected.

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