What Sort of Winter Do You Call This?!

086                                                                                                                                          Well, here we are on 21 December, the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year. Cathy is wrapping up the last few prezzies and I have been outside washing down the paths and tidying up. The weather has been unseasonably mild and I have actually been looking for jobs to do outside rather than sitting indoors. The weather pundits are predicting a long hard winter which will delay Spring and confuse the heck out of the garden again. But, already the bulbs think it is February! The weather guys might be right though because I have never seen the trees and shrubs so laden with fruit and berries, a sure sign of a hard winter to come…..or so the old wives tale goes.Sorbus hupehensis

The little Rowan tree, Sorbus hupehensis, is bent double under the weight of it’s luscious pinky white berries and the Blackbirds are perching precariously on the spindly young branches to get at them.


The Blackthorn tree, Prunus spinosa, is covered in ribbons of juicy sloes, so heavy that the branches are likely to snap. Already, the road beneath is stained blue with the remains of squashed fruit and I am amazed the foragers and gin-makers have not discovered it.


The wormery, which is normally asleep by now is still active and busily taking all our tea bags and veggie peelings to turn into next years ‘special’ addition to potting compost for the very best plants. It can’t last….something has to change soon to send the worms burying for cover deep in the lower trays.036

Even the fish still think it’s summer and expect to be fed twice a day! Get down and go to sleep I say! The pump is off and the food is packed away until next year!003

In fact everything is cleaned up, tidied up and packed away. The cold frame is empty and ready for a bit of essential maintenance to the lid, the cheap plastic ‘overflow’ greenhouse is full of pots and trays..all washed and cleaned. Where is the snow? I’m ready!Leaf composter

The compost bins are full to bursting with leaves and herbaceous shreddings and, apart from a few last minute weeding jobs, the autumn clean-up seem to be finished for a change.006

All the tulips are planted and the only thing remaining to go in the ground is a tray of Cyclamen hederifolium purchased, believe it or not, from our enterprising milkman who buys them in from Pershore College. Two pints of semi-skimmed and a tray of Cyclamen please!

I hope you all have a jolly good Christmas and a wonderful and productive New Year.

6 thoughts on “What Sort of Winter Do You Call This?!

  1. I think we will have a mild winter personally, although it is meant to be chilly over Christ,as. I think the birds go for the red berries before the white, with orange and yellow so,ushers I between. My bulbs are emerging as well. I like your bulb display unit

  2. What a lovely, chirpy blog – thoroughly enjoyed reading it. But oo dear, I’m way behind with all the tidying up that you’ve achieved. It all looks amazing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll plant the rest of the tulips… if it’s not already too late. What are growing in the four delightful pots?

  3. Hi David. Loved the article. Rest assured that the northants foragers have been active and anew batch of sloe gin (and this year sloe vodka to welcome the newly arriving Eastern Europeans), is brewing! The sloe berries were very big and juicy. We picked on 1st dec and were surprised not to be beaten to it. Will call soon for our Xmas catchup. Love mim and bob

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Our fish, like yours, are behaving as if it’s spring, zipping back and forth. I was tempted to feed them yesterday but they were not awfully interested in the end. They’ll be in their element to tomorrow – sounds like it is going to be a wet one!

  5. You are so efficient, I wish you would come and tidy up my garden. I think the berries say more about the summer that we have had than the winter we will have.

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