|~ Frosted Purple Sprouting broccoli in the Veg Patch 30th December 2014 ~|
Having my face slapped about with two days of face-chilling frost was the absolute best finale to 2014. That bitingly crisp freshness coupled with clear bright blue skies felt like the perfect wintry pause between one good year and the next. Am I being optimistic? Yes! Always. But there is definitely a sense of confidence in the air for 2015 - I guess a good year will do that. Other blogs are buzzing with gardening plans and hopes for the coming year - trips, garden visits, seeds to be sown. Here, too, I hope to build on 2014. Every year of gardening brings fresh insights and knowledge; I've got winter veg growing again - kale, broccoli, cavalo nero, spinach. The microclimate induced by growing between two blocks of flats means that I still have parsley, mint (just), thyme, sage; my cape gooseberry has lots of green lanterned fruit which I hope will ripen early next year. I know to watch out for rosemary beetle (my plants are looking very ragged) and to grow my tomatoes in a line, not a cluster. This year I'm determined to make space for cut flowers so I need to re-evaluate the space. Last year there was a new flush of estate children who declared an interest in joining in and learning so space will have to be found for each child to have a little patch to call their own. It's all possible but first I have to move some plants and draw up some plans and now is the perfect time to do it.
So, here we go! 2015 already. Both in the past and this year, I've read other blogs choosing a symbolic word for the year. Previously I haven't been able to single out one particular word that might be meaningful to me but as I reflect on the past year I realise that it was a year made special by the people I encountered. Some of those I met through social media, some have become familiar to me through this blog, some are from my local community, some from college and others are long standing friends. All of those people, to my way of thinking, embody my word for 2015 and the touchstone which I'll strive to carry forward with me:
It's a lovely word with nuanced meaning; my favourites are to have poise, decency, respect, generosity, kindness, to enhance, to favour and to enrich. All qualities which I feel I've been on the receiving end of, certainly through comments and meetings. So when I next find life getting a tad annoying, I hope to take note of this one word, pause (give myself a moment's grace) and respond in a gracious manner. I'm not one for any horoscope malarkey but I do have one or two of the Aries attributes and I swear one of my Irish ancestors must have kissed the Blarney Stone more than once!
The frost had gone by the morning of New Year's Day but I wanted to use one of my frosty veg patch photos to greet the New Year in. I kept thinking that the photo reminded me of something and, look, there it is - a Union Jack, brassica style. How very British!
So after a quiet and relaxing Christmas and New Year which suited me very well, I'm now looking forward to 2015 and wish everyone a productive and successful New Year!
|My first snowdrop (ever) is almost out!|