greentapestry : January Musing ~ Intrigue

Saturday 26 January 2019

January Musing ~ Intrigue

'Because the first month of the year is the darkest, you might think it is the most inert in the garden, but January is not a month is which everything drop backs into inactivity. Our benign climate means that there is always something pushing against the season to draw us into the garden as witnesses. The foliage of celandine against bare earth, the perfume of witch hazel: each holds your attention and ostensibly has the floor to itself; but look again and the garden is full of intrigue. Low, raking light catches seedheads from a season spent, and plant skeletons provide a spectacular framework for frost if you let them stand, as I do, in the belief that it is good to see the garden run the full course of its cycle.

I love our four seasons, and winter is never one to fear, for it is then that there is room to think. The frenzy of activity that comes with the growing season is absent and you can look up and around and take in your surroundings without the burning feeling of the yard-long list of tasks. You can see a tree's structure and history in its naked branches, just as you can see the plants that are ready for winter pruning. 

Pace yourself with the winter work and use this time for building in change, to keep a garden feeling vital and refreshed. Tasks map the seasons, but although we have several weeks ahead of us to revitalise and re-do, there is time in January to revitalise the winter garden.'

~ an excerpt from 'Natural Selection' by Dan Pearson.


  1. The goosegrass is still growing, I cleared a load of young specimens today

  2. I'm not sure that I agree that this is not a season of frenzied activity, there is the winter clear- up to complete, apple trees to prune, seeds to order, no time to stand and stare here. I like Dan Pearson though, he talks well.

  3. I'm still clearing leaves round the snowdrops and hellebores, then they will get a little fertiliser and a mulch of leaf mould to set them off before visitors arrive for a snowdrop day, then it will be on with the rest of the garden. No rest for us here.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. January is a delightful time in the garden when there are tasks to complete but the time frame is much more relaxed. So much beauty in all the seasons. I'll seek out more of Dan Pearson's writing!


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