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.