The days after Christmas, for me, are bitter sweet. On the one hand I’m glad that all the presents have been distributed, the cooking is over and I no longer have to buy exaggerated amounts of food from the supermarket. But on the other hand I find myself staring out of the window at the birds on the bird-feeder, thinking about what I will fill my weekends with in January.
The dreaded January is around the corner. I feel like I ought to dread it but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s the start of a new year, the month of lists, and good intentions and new beginnings. There is nothing to dread, surely.
Yes, the days are grey, the weather is mostly bleak. There is little to nothing growing in my garden right now (although I did spot one solitary Camellia flower today). No doubt we have some harsh weather to get through before Spring arrives, and the temperature in the greenhouse means that I won’t be sowing anything for a while.
But… as a gardener I can’t help but plan. Even if it’s just sitting on the couch and thinking about what to grow this coming year. It’s still exciting. Pretty soon I’ll be flipping through my seed box, making a list of what’s missing and what needs replacing. I’ll be ordering some seed sowing compost, rummaging around under the greenhouse staging and plugging in my heated seed tray mat. I’ll be buffing the greenhouse windows until they sparkle, tipping the water out of the wheelbarrow before it freezes, tightening the wires on the fence where the grapevine will grow and ordering bags of manure for the vegetable beds.
I’ll be scraping the top off the compost pile to see if the stuff underneath is good enough to mulch the fruit trees in the orchard with. I’ll be reading what Percy Thrower did in his garden in January (pruning his Pelargoniums if you’re interested) and copying most of what he did (minus the chemical spraying). Then, I’ll be checking when Gardeners’ World is back on TV. And we’ll be off…
When you’re a gardener there is ‘always’ something to do and that’s what I love about it. I couldn’t not get excited about it if I tried.