So, today is supposed to be the most depressing of the year. It's because of the combination of it being a Monday, the fact that credit card bills begin to flow in after Christmas and pay day still hasn't arrived. It's a pretty potent combination, I guess, and we are gleefully peddled this idea every year.
As someone with a family to support and debts to pay on a modest income I should probably be a prime candidate to feel like this, and maybe I would be if I didn't spend my days amongst nature.
The days are getting longer, it's noticeable especially after a weekend. Everything is waking up. The aconites, hellebores and snowdrops are flowering, and the spikes of growth from the daffodils and crocuses are emerging. It's exciting to think with the help of a greenhouse I can sow tomatoes. Autumn sown broad beans are now really motoring, their harvest promising the best food and reminding me of long hot days eating straight from the plant. Not only this, but their very beings protecting the soil from winter beatings and fixing nitrogen in the soil for successors to inherit. I decided back in September to use these plants as a kind of dual purpose cover crop. It's a bit of an experiment but I can't see how it could not have a positive impact.
The sun reaches the bottom of the garden now, and will begin its relentless march back towards the house as we go into late winter and early spring. Bare rooted trees have been planted over this last weekend. We decided upon two espalliered fruit trees for the west facing southernmost corner, pear Concorde, and apple queen cox. Both on semi vigorous rootstocks, and both planted in this, the most optimistic of months.
And it is optimistic, it's the calm before it all goes off and a gardener will struggle to keep up with it all. So I'll spend the rest of the winter preparing for the inevitable spring, looking forward, not back.