How many people are currently hunkering down inside, away from plummeting temperatures and relishing the warmth and cosiness of being tucked away from the cold? I know the temptation to stay indoors on a dreary, possibly drizzly, day gets me every time. Grey skies do not motivate me. But I always surprise myself with how good it feels to get outside, wrapped up against the cold, for a walk or an hour's work in the garden. There are always jobs to do, even (or especially?) at this time of year. I still have leaves to rake and store, bulbs to plant and mulching to finish. Trees need pruning and a few perennials need to be relocated. I admit I enjoy the peace of working outside in winter, it clears my mind and gives me the headspace to think.
Last weekend Michelle at Vegplotting blog hosted another of her #mygardenrightnow challenges, inviting gardeners to get together on social media with a snap of themselves in their winter gardens. We've had such a good warm autumn (and by that I mean temperatures still in the mid to high 50F range (10-15C) with occasional sun) that many of those gardeners were able to show plants in bloom. Could I match that with anything in the veg patch? Let's have a look.
They say the camera never lies but I confess that these are pretty much solitary flowers - apart from the sage, nasturtiums and feverfew! But, looking at these, if I didn't know better, I'd think it was still summer!
Here's the reality:
Okay, so that doesn't quite prove my point but my woolly hat is essential gardening kit at this time of year! Those raspberries are genuine but I only have a couple of stalks to make a very small pudding! Umm, that just made me think of raspberry ripple ice cream; I wonder if there's enough for a sauce :) The garden usually does quite well for a bit of greenery at this time of year as the usual suspects - strawberries, kales and herbs - will carry on through the winter. The nasturtiums and scented pelargonium (the mass of green at the far end of the plot) are much more delicate but might survive. You can see how the garden is surrounded by buildings (we're clad in scaffolding at present) plus there's a long brick wall on the west side - and the veg patch itself is bordered by a low brick wall. I think it all helps to maintain a warmer micro-climate which helps the plants combat any cold. One thing though, I wish I'd made time to sow some broccoli and sprouts earlier this year - this will be my first winter without PSB. Lesson learned, I've already scheduled those into my sowing calendar for next year.
I hope I'm right about the micro-climate as it looks like London will be getting much colder by next week - but that's how it should be. After a good prolonged autumn, I'm ready to embrace a bit of hygge indoors over the christmas holidays. It will be hot chocolate, survival cake, gardening books and bracing walks on Hampstead Heath for me - how about you?
Linking to Through the Garden Gate over at Down by the Sea, Sarah's blog.
Also pop over to Veg Plotting to catch a few more bloggers winter gardens!