As the end of January approaches, I have to admit, I’m going to miss her.
There’s a clamour & a whole host of hashtags dedicated to the arrival of Spring, a sense of just hanging around, waiting for it all to begin. But I’m in the camp that sees a lot of advantages in a January garden. The changes in the garden are small & often slow in January, but so much easier to spot than when the garden is in full swing, bursting out all over.
In it’s own modest way, its quite an eventful month in our part of the world, as we gradually move from one season towards the next. I like the iron-grey light on cold days & a bright blue sky, when it appears, always feels like a bonus. The day light hours increase quite noticeably each day. Leaves are beginning to unfurl, buds are fattening & a few flowers starting to appear.Although the Crocus tommasinianus have made a rapid appearance in my garden, maybe I missed the first signs of growth, but suddenly they’re fully grown & everywhere. Their pale, purple petals, slender & graceful, covered in a white sheen on their outer sides. They must have been planted years ago by a previous owner & have spread without needing help from anyone. Self-seeding is one of their virtues, another is, unlike most crocuses, they flower well in part-shade.
They’re not just a pretty addition though, they have an important task for bees, supplying them with nectar & pollen when there is little else around.
Every year it seems unlikely that the hellebores, down one side of the steps into the main part of the garden will manage to flower. They close down, tucking themselves inward away from the worst of the winter chill, but on mild days the whole plant opens toward the warmth.
Enjoying each season for what it has to offer, is part of that mindful, living in the moment attitude to life, along with eating seasonally. The conundrum for gardeners is that we have to plan ahead, order bulbs & seeds & do some preparation. However, it can be done without too much of an eye on the future, without tearing us away from whats happening right in front of us.
That said, I do feel for those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, when longer days seem to be the only answer.
Enjoy your garden, I hope there’s something lovely happening out there for you to see.
All photos: Jill Anderson.