I’m not sure if it’s the clocks changing or the weather but the feeling that takes over me at this time of year is here once again. The desire to stay warm, dry and cosy inside is hard to shift. You might say ‘why bother, give in to the feeling, our bodies often know what is best for them, what they crave, why fight it’? I did hear once about a village in France where the people apparently spent the winter asleep. It wasn’t true hibernation, in that they didn’t lower their body temperature as animals do. Even so there are days, particularly in January, where staying warm under the duvet and sleeping my way to spring sounds like the best way forward.
Of course, there is much to look forward to over the next couple of months and despite the gloom I feel much more positive about the winter ahead than I have in previous years but the one thing I can’t seem to motivate myself to do is get up to the plot or into the garden. We haven’t had any significant frost yet but we have had lots of rain and plenty of dark, dank days. The sort of weather where you can almost feel the damp penetrating your body. There is nothing remotely enticing about spending time outdoors in these conditions.
I really do need to get up to the plot, at the very least, and lift my dahlias, dig up a celeriac for dinner and pull out some of the hardy annual flowers to tidy things up. Fortunately, the need for celeriac will force me up there because otherwise I could find more than enough excuses as to why I should stay at home. I don’t like this feeling of procrastination which is not normally something I suffer from. I am, I’m afraid a bit of a fair-weather gardener. I decided this year to try some salad leaves for autumn and winter but to be honest they haven’t been a great success. Standing out in the cold, the rain and the dark, on a morning, picking the meagre leaves for Wellyman’s lunch is losing it’s appeal. Most were eaten by slugs and production levels have dropped so much that I would need so many pots to get any worthwhile quantities.
I have got some lettuce at the plot which seems to be faring better on the slugs front, at least, but it’s just not as convenient to have salad leaves up there at this time of year. Things maybe different next year though, because last week I took the plunge and bought a greenhouse. *does a little dance* I’ve wanted one for a long time but the combination of thinking we didn’t really have the space and the cost have put me off. Oh, and the thought of it being just another thing to take with us when we move. After moving 7 times in 8 years it’s hard to shake off the feeling that you’ll be moving again soon and the rigmarole that entails. The lack of space still is a bit of an issue but I’m working on something for next year which requires more plants than my cold frames and kitchen window sill can cope with, so it felt like the time was right. It will hopefully make life a little easier next spring and the idea of being able to give tomatoes a try again and maybe even some chillies is pretty exciting.
It’s a small greenhouse, as space is tight and I haven’t even got it yet and it’s probably too small with all the plans I have. Still after years of not having one it will be a real joy to have any indoor growing space. The idea of being able to sit with a cup of tea on a chilly spring day with the sun streaming into the greenhouse and being warm and toasty inside brings a smile to my face now.
There is however, the small matter of having to put the greenhouse up. Whilst now might be a great time for buying greenhouses, as there are some great discounts, the chances of a dry weekend in mid November are slim. I can’t say I’m looking forward to spending 2 days constructing a greenhouse in the cold and damp *shivers*. Now what was I saying about hibernation.
I do know how you feel, to be honest I think I felt like this in August when the drought meant that being in the garden was no longer a pleasure, things are better now even with winter approaching. Congratulations on the greenhouse. You will enjoy it what ever space you have. I’m looking to be much more productive with moine this winter and spring – it has limited use in an Italian summer. Christina
Exciting. My greenhouse is tiny, only 6X4 but I wouldn’t be without it. I really can’t imagine not having a greenhouse now. Can’t wait to hear all about your plans for it.
That’s the same size mine is going to be.
Elizabeth Musgrave (@gwenoldy) said:
So it’s not just me with that urge to stay inside and keep warm by the fire! I have loads to do in the garden still but can hardly be bothered to get out there.
I know it’s so hard to find the motivation at this time of year.
Roy and Tanya said:
It’s so natural to feel like this when the darker evenings arrive; the temptation to curl up is in all of us at this time of year. I’m sure that even the hardiest arctic explorers and downhill slalom skiers wish deep inside – for warmer days with more sun.
It sounds like you have an exciting plan for the spring – more plants says WW. hmm wondering what this is going to be. Hopefully, you’ll be letting slip with more and more detail during these next couple of months…
.. and Congratulations on your acquisition! We’re so envious and you already have cold frames. We have only one built so far and a lot of material for our beds still to bring in. The thought of going out at sunrise each saturday morning in order to do this, does not inspire me greatly. I know, however, that it must be done else our raised #nodig beds wont be ready for our earlies!! So, on that note.. WW and WM might conspire to throw down the gauntlet and get that greenhouse built now because it’ll be a lot easier in November than in a freezing January and you can imagine your joy at getting it completed…
.. Christmas morning bucks fizz under glass with the fuschia cuttings?
Loving the idea of toasting the greenhouse on Christmas morning. I know what you mean about November being preferable to January. We had to rip put decking and willow trees when we first moved in to this house in January/February. It was bitterly cold and started to snow. So I’ll hold that thought for a few weeks time when we’re wrestling with a steel frame!
I have a short list of six items on my garden to do list and then (like the French village) I am off into hibernation. I will only awaken when the sun shines 🙂
Congrats on the greenhouse. So handy to have one and you can work undercover!
I often say to Wellyman that my ideal would be to leave the UK on Boxing Day for say the Caribbean and return at the start of March for the first daffodils. 😉 Of course, this is what dreams and large (but nonexistant for us) bank accounts are for. 😉
I think that many gardeners feel as you do about this time of year and the coming months, I know that I do.
Lucky you with the greenhouse. I’m sure that’s something that will be in constant use.
I like the picture, that’s another flower on my long list to try growing. xx
I know I can’t quite believe the whole greenhouse thing. I’m really chuffed. Thank you they really are both beautiful flowers. I could possibly send you a bit of geranium if you’d like? Do you think some would make it through the post OK? I could wrap it in most kitchen roll and a sandwich bag.
Yes I’m a bit like you a bit of a fair weather gardener, I sometimes have to force myself to go up to the plot but usually once I’m there I love it and feel invigorated and wonder why I don’t go more often. But it has to be sunny.
How great getting a greenhouse, I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while too but I’ve been putting it off as I’m not sure whether we may move. Look forward to seeing it when its up and I’m sure you’ll make great use out of it.
We always think we’re about to move. There are redundancies at hubby’s work, again. We’re also not that settled in the area. It really is only because I’m working on a project next year that meant I needed one though but I’m quite glad it has forced my hand. I don’t want to be here in 5 years time still thinking about getting a greenhouse. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
There is something quite appealing about the thought of hibernation WW. I would be quite happy to curl up into a little ball, unfurl for Christmas and then coil up again until mid March. I quite like being outdoors though in the colder months as long as it is not wet. I have still have bulbs to plant and garlic to get in so must stir myself. What great news about your new greenhouse – you must be so excited 🙂
I agree I quite like cold, sunny days and I do appreciate the change in seasons but it’s the wet. I’m so sick of rain. I’ve got hundreds of tulips to plant and the ground is going to take a while to dry out Not sure how likely that is at this time of year. I have to pinch myself about the greenhouse 🙂
Caro (urbanvegpatch) said:
Fair weather gardener? Me too! I forced myself to garden in bitter winds last Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. (I had dug out my gardening beret for the purpose!) I’m not sure that pleasure will extend to putting my bulbs in as my hands will get very cold! I’d love a greenhouse but as my gardens are communal, it would have to be very sturdy and football proof. I think you’ve made a wise choice and wish you many happy pottering moments in yours. I’m intrigued by your plans for next year … lots of people seem to be rethinking their plots after this year; it will make for interesting reading over the winter!
I managed to drag myself up to the plot last week and it was bitter and I had significant layers on. Still it made me work that bit quicker to keep warm. 😉
Anna B said:
Great post! You’re going to LOVE your greenhouse. My husband made one for my allotment (you can see some photies on my blog) and it’s revolutionised everything! Plus a great place to shelter from the rain we usually have in summer 😉 Lets hope we have a nice weekend, there’s something really refreshing about this time of year and makes coming back inside and getting cozy even nicer 🙂
Hi Anna, Thank you. Am drowning in work stuff at the mo but promise I will set up my feed for your blog today. 🙂 So much rain here means no tulip planting yet but looks like it may be a drier and milder week ahead so fingers crossed.
I am so envious of your greenhouse and truly amazed that you moved seven times in eight years. You once posted your garden and it looked pretty gorgeous for one year of your attention. You are clearly a great gardener.
We’ve been settled here for 5 years but yes for the first 8 years of marriage we moved that frequently. The garden had possibly been going for maybe 3 years when I took those photos. I haven’t shaken the feeling on moving. We have cupboards stashed with boxes ready for the next time! I’m just hoping I haven’t tempted fate by ordering the greenhouse. There are more redundancies at hubby’s work. 😦
It’s been a tough old year for us gardeners, and I think I personally ran out of steam in – oh – about early August, so you’re doing really well.
I put up my second-hand greenhouse a couple of Januaries ago, which was definitely the wrong time of year. All the panes had frozen together and had to be carefully defrosted with warm water, plus our hands were cold and clumsy – but we managedI’ve blessed it ever since (it’s too small, but I’ve learned to edit), and I particularly enjoy seed planting in it, instead of outside in the cold… you are going to be so pleased you’ve got it!
Hopefully we’ll get a dry weekend. Don’t fancy putting it up in the rain. But I’m really excited although I realise I’m going to have to learn restraint when it comes to the space and what I can put in it. Don’t get carried away will have to be my motto.