Thursday, 23 January 2014

Shirtsleeve Weather

We have friends who arrived a year or two before us, who told us the first January they were here they gardened in T-shirts.  As they tend to be hardy types and as every January we've been here it's snowed, we've taken their tale with a pinch of salt.

We thought they were exaggerating. Maybe not.  T-shirts are perhaps a step too far (we're not as tough as they) but we've certainly gardened steadily through this month and even have shed jacket and sweater because it's been  so mild. Oh the joy of being outside and getting to the tasks that rarely get accomplished in the rush of March and April.

Hazel saplings have been planted in the lawn behind the cottage. The apple trees and wisteria have been pruned, the banks strimmed, the borders weeded, cuttings potted, bulbs that were hiding in the shed planted. I've reached parts of the garden I haven't touched for years and discovered young elms springing up and a Japonica with fat flower buds completely smothered in the long grass.  Pots stand against the cottage wall with no more than a thin fleece over them for night-time chills - underneath geraniums and begonias continue to thrive. The violas I flung in a pot without much hope before Christmas are radiant.

Ten thirty, the early mist has cleared and the sun is streaming through the cottage windows. Time to grab the gardening sweater and jacket, find the gloves and secateurs and get outside.  Who knows, by mid-afternoon I may be in shirtsleeves again.


  1. The catkins are a-dangling as well.
    A lovely time of the year if there were no mud.

  2. I remember those Januaries....we could get so much work done, get so far ahead...and in such pleasant conditions!
    There would be a cold snap in February, but by then it didn't matter.
    Then it all seemed to change....

  3. Hi Lesley, you're right about the mud! Loud protests coming from Bertie because he's currently banished to the kitchen and hall while they dry off from this morning's VERY wet walk! I think the next few days are going to be much the same too. :(

  4. Hi Helen, We have friends with teenage children who never saw snow here while they were growing up - and then in the last few years (as you say) it all seemed to change. We're just grateful for this mild, short winter. February can be cold, but then that's ok 'cos spring comes hard on its heels. :)