And the good brown earth.

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I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be in Spain, sipping cheap wine and licking my fingers after a healthy dose of tapas. This was the reward to myself for the years hard work behind me, and the opportunity to recharge the batteries for the year ahead….also did I mention cheap wine? However I find myself at home, feeling frustrated. I had a plan…as the season wound down as it does in November, as I do every year, I clear the tunnels, put them to bed so to speak. Take out the last die-hard annuals as the frosts pick them off, cut back the perennials, lift any reluctant weeds. Try to have the tunnels ship shape, ready for the springs new life and to give me the opportunity to take some well deserved rest. Unfortunately this year I slipped, as my mother puts it….on ‘Gods slippery banana skin’. With a departure date for Spain on 23/12, I had it in my mind to have all my winter work done before I could relax and take full advantage of all that tapas and cheap wine. The aforementioned ‘banana skin’ came in the form of a twisted bowel, emergency surgery, promptly followed by infection and a lengthy stay in hospital. Best laid plans……out the window!

There is a childrens book I used to read to my daughter, ‘And The Good Brown Earth’ by Kathy Henderson. A simple story about the seasonality of a garden, what comes to mind when I think of Winter and what is happening in the garden, this book pops into my mind, as Charlie the child character of the story asks his Grandmother whats happening in the garden in winter she replies with…’nows thinking time’. And how true is this, as horticulturalist/florist I find myself thinking……lots. Thinking about the year behind me, my successes, my failures, what I might have done differently. I think too as to what is in front of me…what I have yet to do, what I need to buy, what seed to order, how to improve on what has gone before. This is the usual ebb and flow to the seasons, in winter the plants rest, as do we,  hoping for enough cold to to kill the enemies, but not so much to kill our friends. Winter is as important to the garden as is the hope we will have a good growing season.

So now, as I convalesce, my brain still fully functioning is filled with the thoughts of all I haven’t achieved, my tunnels filled with dead annuals, untidy perennials, weeds taking full advantage of my ‘banana skin’. I did manage to prick out my winter hardy annuals before the ‘twist’ in fate (a pun in bad taste I feel!!!), but I didn’t manage to plant the some 600+ plants that were waiting for valuable space to be cleared for them and I try to tell myself that its winter and what harm will come. But attention to detail matters, and I am behind…..seriously behind. There is a lesson in here some where….I just need to find it.

Well true to the book, ‘And The Good Brown Earth’……now is thinking time, it is all my body will allow me to do. So plans are afoot, seed catalogs are being poured over, catch up plans being worked out. All the while winter is busy doing its worst, and the first signs of spring bravely poke out their heads. I took a stroll in the garden for the first time in a month yesterday and predictably the Crocuses and Snowdrops are the first green spikes of the new year…..the new season, and all the promise that comes with it. To my surprise, the very first of the Rhododendron in our garden ‘Christmas Cheer’ was flowering.christmas cheer

And even though I am not where I should be, I am full of optimism for whats ahead. Again Kathy Henderson’s book reminds me…..’and the good brown earth goes on doing what the good brown earth does best……’

Scatter the seed...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Share on LinkedIn

I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be in Spain, sipping cheap wine and licking my fingers after a healthy dose of tapas. This was the reward to myself for the years hard work behind me, and the opportunity to recharge the batteries for the year ahead….also did I mention cheap wine? However I find myself at home, feeling frustrated. I had a plan…as the season wound down as it does in November, as I do every year, I clear the tunnels, put them to bed so to speak. Take out the last die-hard annuals as the frosts pick them off, cut back the perennials, lift any reluctant weeds. Try to have the tunnels ship shape, ready for the springs new life and to give me the opportunity to take some well deserved rest. Unfortunately this year I slipped, as my mother puts it….on ‘Gods slippery banana skin’. With a departure date for Spain on 23/12, I had it in my mind to have all my winter work done before I could relax and take full advantage of all that tapas and cheap wine. The aforementioned ‘banana skin’ came in the form of a twisted bowel, emergency surgery, promptly followed by infection and a lengthy stay in hospital. Best laid plans……out the window!

There is a childrens book I used to read to my daughter, ‘And The Good Brown Earth’ by Kathy Henderson. A simple story about the seasonality of a garden, what comes to mind when I think of Winter and what is happening in the garden, this book pops into my mind, as Charlie the child character of the story asks his Grandmother whats happening in the garden in winter she replies with…’nows thinking time’. And how true is this, as horticulturalist/florist I find myself thinking……lots. Thinking about the year behind me, my successes, my failures, what I might have done differently. I think too as to what is in front of me…what I have yet to do, what I need to buy, what seed to order, how to improve on what has gone before. This is the usual ebb and flow to the seasons, in winter the plants rest, as do we,  hoping for enough cold to to kill the enemies, but not so much to kill our friends. Winter is as important to the garden as is the hope we will have a good growing season.

So now, as I convalesce, my brain still fully functioning is filled with the thoughts of all I haven’t achieved, my tunnels filled with dead annuals, untidy perennials, weeds taking full advantage of my ‘banana skin’. I did manage to prick out my winter hardy annuals before the ‘twist’ in fate (a pun in bad taste I feel!!!), but I didn’t manage to plant the some 600+ plants that were waiting for valuable space to be cleared for them and I try to tell myself that its winter and what harm will come. But attention to detail matters, and I am behind…..seriously behind. There is a lesson in here some where….I just need to find it.

Well true to the book, ‘And The Good Brown Earth’……now is thinking time, it is all my body will allow me to do. So plans are afoot, seed catalogs are being poured over, catch up plans being worked out. All the while winter is busy doing its worst, and the first signs of spring bravely poke out their heads. I took a stroll in the garden for the first time in a month yesterday and predictably the Crocuses and Snowdrops are the first green spikes of the new year…..the new season, and all the promise that comes with it. To my surprise, the very first of the Rhododendron in our garden ‘Christmas Cheer’ was flowering.christmas cheer

And even though I am not where I should be, I am full of optimism for whats ahead. Again Kathy Henderson’s book reminds me…..’and the good brown earth goes on doing what the good brown earth does best……’