I like this time of year. It has nothing to do with Christmas (I’m a bit of a ‘bah – humbug!’ on that score) but everything to do with creeping past the Winter Solstice. I know it’s only the very beginning of winter and the worst of the weather – several months, possibly – is yet to come, but there’s something optimistic in the air: the light will increase, spring will return. I’ve spent the day wandering around our hedges gathering Yuletide greenery to decorate the house; it makes a refreshing change from barrowing weeds or muck (despite getting very tangled up in the rosehips several times), and I shall enjoy spreading it about indoors tomorrow for a bit of festive cheer.
There’s not much to do in the patch now except harvest and tuck into the hardy winter veg. It looks rather sad and forlorn after the colourful summer jungle but there’s still plenty of good food lurking in there: parsnips, carrots, kale, rainbow chard, cabbages, a smattering of sprouts, leeks, spring cabbage and broccoli to come later – and that poor lonely celeriac which surely must be almost ready to eat now?
My Mum and Dad had a friend who used to say that broad beans should be up to a ‘mouse’s ear’ by Christmas. Checking on their progress today, I think they’re just about there. What a lovely sight…
…and here’s another I found when topping up the bird feeders – a Christmas rose flowering bang on time.
Merry Christmas to one and all: may your stockings be stuffed with seeds and your 2014 gardens be blessed with happy days and wonderful food. Let’s raise our glasses to a great growing – and blogging – year! 🙂