Stop-Start Season

In the gap between completing the pergola assembly and starting on levelling the patio, I’ve been trying to get on with the winter clean-up.

I know that ideally, the winter clean-up should be left until spring, but I need to start now if I’m going to have a chance of getting all the pruning, clearing, tidying, cutting, edging, weeding and myriad other jobs done by early summer. Not mention the patio (once I hopefully manage to level it) needs to be cleaned, sealed and then set out with all the nomadic patio pots.

The other day, I managed to clear up most of a border, but the last two days it’s rained to the point where the grass is squelching again and with a heavy clay soil, dents, delves and divots don’t spring back. So I’m kind of “rained-off” again, waiting for the weather to clear and the garden to dry out before I can race outside again to carry on clearing other area or pruning another rose or doing any other winter job on that long, long list.

I’ve noticed over the years – as the garden becomes increasingly packed with plants – that the “down time” of the winter period for me and the garden is getting shorter. We have a plant diversity which means there is always something in flower, whatever time of year it is. Right now there are still cyclamen, Sarcococca, wintersweet, hardy Bidens and Hesperantha flowering, it’s not much, but you can’t say the garden (and by extension me) is completely dormant, especially when I’ve got clematis and rose buds now shooting. Crocus and snowdrops are on the verge of opening and then comes the great show of the Camellias, at which point we’re well into the season.

Clearing the borders back in preparation for spring is at the forefront of my mind at the moment and a couple of hours here and there in between wintry weather that’s spent systematically working through a border, in the low winter sunshine, while the scent from winter flowering plants occasionally wafts by, provides an incredible disconnect from current reality.

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