My Christmas Gardening wishlist
I could rattle on about the many joyous attributes of winter gardens and the great benefits of sucking in a lungful of bitterly cold, frost-bitten air every now and again
I could rattle on about the many joyous attributes of winter gardens and the great benefits of sucking in a lungful of bitterly cold, frost-bitten air every now and again. But I won’t.
This is because I am a great advocate of living seasonally, eating fresh and gardening only in fair weather. As there is now barely enough daylight to shake a stick at these days I will follow Mother Nature’s advice and stay indoors.
Rest assured this is not the ramblings of a lazy gardener, this is tradition. Years ago the Victorians recognised our need to stay in touch with nature while also staying warm. They began collecting branches of evergreens, holly berries and pine cones to bring into the home during the dark days of winter. A simple sprig of holly, tucked behind a picture frame looks as merry as me tucked up on the sofa sampling a glass of fine whisky in front of a roaring log fire.
There are times when I will venture out and see what the garden has to offer, after all, my chickens, pictured, still need feeding and wood for the fire still needs fetching. I leave the tall, sculptural fennel standing high over winter just in case my dreams come true and we have a white Christmas. The skeleton fronds have a way of trapping the snow, creating an ethereal illusion of snowballs levitating in the half light.
This avoidance of the outside world won’t last forever. Once the winter solstice has been reached on the 21st it’s all uphill. Daylight will gradually trickle back in and with it renewed vigour. Christmas will be celebrated with gusto; a lavish feast of all that the vegetable garden has to offer. Pickles and relishes made to preserve the autumn harvest are now at their very best, intricate flavours seeped and matured ready to tantalise the senses.
But perhaps best of all the spirits are ready. Scrumptious vodkas saturated with damsons and raspberries and gin filled with sloes are now ready to be opened, their rich velvety flavours unleashed at last. So let’s raise a glass to the festive season and look forward to a new gardening year.
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Follow Jacqui’s edible gardening blog at jacquibrocklehurst.wordpress.com or visit her website at www.colourmygarden