I had been wondering, just yesterday, when there was snow and rain outside and wood fires and hot cider within, would I ever want to work out of doors again, or had I somehow arrived at a point where it was more desirable to be always comfortably warm and dry and clean? I was also thinking of dusting off my spinning wheel, and how I might buy an alpaca fleece, or some nice colored Border Leicester wool, and make my own yarn, a thing I haven’t done for years.
Then it became late and was New Year’s Eve, so we celebrated happily with a drink called a Harvey Wallbanger–I did NOT name it–made with orange juice and vodka and Galliano– which by the way comes in a VERY cool bottle. It’s a great drink, but really I do like just local beer quite the best.
Then I got up this morning and OMG there was The Sun! In an azure sky! (I never say ‘azure’ so you can see how affected I was.)
As the frost melted I was inside, knitting by the stove, but I found that I was thinking about the garden. It became like some kind of brain magnet, even when I knew it was barely above freezing out there.
I finally put down the knitting, since I was finding a woven seam to be a bit of a challenge anyway, and I got up to go toward the parlour and begin packing away Christmas tree ornaments, when suddenly, to my astonishment, I found myself outside in the chilly sunny afternoon! (I think it was the terrier’s fault.)
I wandered into the warm greenhouse, which had even popped up its automatic roof window, and it was just so lovely in there. The cucumbers have perished (planted too late by some unorganized person) but the lettuce and spinach grow on, along with various flower cuttings, a pot of parsley and some other things. I swept the floor and cleaned the bench and watered some rather dry pots and it almost felt like gardening–
Then I found myself outside again, touring the beds, talking to Max and the plants, and thinking of all of you.
Soon a shovel appeared in my hands and I happily dug a couple of volunteer oak trees out of a garden bed. The ground was so wet that I got even their long roots out and resettled them in a better location. Still I completely expect them to die, because oaks simply don’t like to be told what to do. Not like roses. You can put rose roots in a blender in June and they will still grow…
Speaking of roses, in the fall I stuck some cuttings in a flower bed. They are alive and well and have leaf buds.
As you know, I am seriously scientific (in spite of that unfair grade I got in genetics) and so I created a Control Group of indoor greenhouse cuttings of the same rose. For the record, they are doing okay too, but maybe not quite so well as the ones I left outside, which just goes to show you that sometimes it’s best to do the easy thing, and also that you should never start stupid numbers of cuttings that will grow into enormous climbing roses which will all need homes and soon.
But back to my sunny garden tour today.
I have been considering whacking into a doublefile viburnum, which is shown below with some of my famous arrows indicating the part I want to rip out, I mean divide, and plant in another bed.
Now the question is, are viburnum bushes contrary like oaks, or immortal, like roses? I’ll begin the research, maybe on the next sunny day. (Don’t worry, the shrub is sound asleep and won’t feel a thing.)
Max and I made all the rounds, including the winter vegetable garden, where most of the raised bed boxes look vacant. There is garlic up and some onions and the cauliflower plants are providing food for someone–not me. In an herb bed I found the Greek oregano growing fragrant leaves …
…and the hardy olive tree, below, looks nice even if its stake is being held up by the tree instead of the opposite, a state of affairs that is embarrassing for the Gardener but not fatal to the tree.
It’s been cold and wet but not much freezing around here, so Max and I even found a few things blooming. Here is our New Year’s bouquet for you, including a camellia and also a white hellebore flower which still looks great after over two hours so I guess you can use hellebore as a cut flower–who knew?