greentapestry : Musing in December

Friday, 5 December 2014

Musing in December


"This is the darkest month ; it is plunged into despair yet elevated by hope. December is a meaningful but mysterious month. During its passage much will die ; but before its end rebirth will start with an all powerful upsurge. It is the time of the lowest ebb, the nadir. As the year moves towards the winter solstice and light decreases day by day, it's easy to feel cheated. The garden shuts down, creating a feeling of hopefulness ; its demise is inevitable and there is no point in fighting - perhaps it is better to give in? It's tempting to scrape the mud from your boots and put them in the cupboard , but no, there is so much to do and December gardening has its own special pleasures.

Now comes the start of the big clean up. This may be the era of the dying down, dying back, withdrawing, but underneath the surface of the soil so much is happening.

Sometimes the soul is crunch - cold, the wind is biting and the chances of having any meaningful interaction with the garden is below zero - so is the temperature. But there are still many jobs to do. Many of these anticipate the coming year, turning this month into a time of preparation ; to retire to my shed and scan the boxes and baskets of paper bags full of seeds I've collected in the last few months as a treat to look forward to ; then indulge in. Reading the names hastily scribbled, occasionally almost undecipherable, the image of those plants in their glory is conjured up. And as I winnow the seed , carefully separating it from the chaff and packing it into brown envelopes , the anticipation of all the plants these seeds will become is enough to carry me , smiling, through even the shortest wettest day".

~ words from 'Life In A Cottage Garden' by Carol Klein.
~ illustration by Jill Barklem.

14 comments:

  1. Lovely! I'm a huge Jill Barklem fan. She makes me wish I could draw and paint. And such a lovely way to describe winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting WW and for your comment. I wish that I could draw and paint like Jill Barklem too - maybe in my next life :)

      Delete
  2. December is definitely a time for looking forward to and making preparations for a new gardening year. I think once the month is finished, we're all just waiting to get our hands back in the soil again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that we will all be chomping at the bit after Christmas Jo.

      Delete
  3. One reason to be cheerful, The Winter Solstice is not far away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and all uphill from there Brian :)

      Delete
  4. Just lately I've been forgetting just how late in the year it actually is. Because we've had such a mild year (thus far) my mind is still stuck back in October.
    I still love getting out doors at this time of the year. I think that if I can even spend a wee half hour in the garden, it doesn't make me miss it quite so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that we have all been lulled into a false sense of security Angie - hope that the forthcoming bad weather does not cause any damage in your garden. Yes that half hour fix certainly helps.

      Delete
  5. I have just enjoyed Carol's article in the December GW magazine about her garden in winter and your extract will encourage me to seek out her book - those words really resonate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that you would lap up the book Cathy which is beautifully illustrated.

      Delete
  6. I love the illustration and Carol Kleins' words sum up December very well, except I don' t actually find myself ' smiling through even the shortest , wettest days'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe she is guilty of slight exaggeration there Cathy :)

      Delete
  7. I didn't know she was such a poet...I had to order the book...got curious ;) Lovely illustration too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I do hope that you enjoy the book Annette which would make for perfect reading at this time of year or would be equally readable in monthly chunks.

    ReplyDelete

All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.