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Still flowering – geranium

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.


Still flowering – erigeron

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.