Now is the winter of my discontent?
It’s not even winter yet and I feel a little bit forlorn in my garden. The tomatoes, by far the most successful thing ever in my garden, are ended. They are withering with green tomatoes clinging on for dear life. I hope to pick them this week and make some green tomato chutney. I have been warned if they are too small and hard then the chutney will be a bit yuck.
That one awesome little eggplant is officially stunted. it, and the capsicum plants, have given up for the season and are dying off. I was so excited by the possibility of capsicum! The zucchini and pumpkin plants are sad, twisted brown heaps now.
There are big plans this coming winter. MisterInMotion has agreed to rebuild the planter boxes in a more space efficient and (hopefully) more plant-friendly growing design. Higher garden beds and bigger.
We are all busy at home, so I am certainly NOT pulling apart my garden until a weekend is carved in stone for this to happen.
“A thousand hills, but no birds in flight,
Ten thousand paths, with no person’s tracks.
A lonely boat, a straw-hatted old man,
Fishing alone in the cold river snow.”
~Liu Zhingyuan (River Snow)
I woke up unexpectedly early (-ish, for a Sunday) after a late night out. Although my house was toasty warm due to the heaters turning themselves on at 6am and a cat curled up on my feet, I could see glistening white peeking through the curtain suggesting the outdoors was a stark contrast.
I popped out of bed, put on my Uggs, grabbed the camera and promptly bumped into my son with his mouth agape staring outside at the yard through the sitting room windows.
Mr 4 and I were delighted to find our garden a winter wonderland of frost. We danced across the grass listening to the musical crunch and crackling of frozen blades. We tickled our fingers on icicles clinging to wood, flowers, leaves and rocks. We admired the “hairy garden” in its bejewelled splendor.
” I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” ~Andrew Wyeth
The long winter of the Ranges has settled in. Relentless cloud covered days of misty rain, cold winds and icy mornings take up the bulk of the week, driving people indoors to their warm fires to read books, bake cakes and knit.
Every now and then there is an afternoon or morning of clear skies and sunshine, but the air still bites your face as you step expectantly from the warmth of your home out into the sharp winter air. Hats, coats, scarves and gloves. Getting dressed to go out is a much longer process.
Bulbs are popping up in empty garden beds. Little surprises waiting to hatch at the end of winter into tulips, daffodils, jonquils and anemones. The Bloodgrass has been ruthlessly chopped down to three inches tall. It is but a shadow of its summer glory. The green stems of the Feather Reeds are almost all yellow, signalling that it is almost their time to be cut back in a brutal manner.
Trees are weeping, raining down orange, yellow and red confetti. It settles on the lawn, slowly turning brown and then disappearing back into the earth mysteriously. Some trees still seemingly hold all of their leaves, transformed into tall blazing pillars that look shocking against the grey skies. Other trees are skeletons. On close inspection there are beginnings of buds that promise a snowy display of blossom come spring.
The garden, in a sense, seems to be dying. There are hints of the lush, colour and vitality that will present itself in Spring, but for now it is Winter.