It's coming up to new year, an ideal time to make horticultural reflections and confessions. I confess that I haven't blogged much this year. Too much time spent on education, be it sending small child off to school to become another cog in the long journey to adulthood, or reading and writing about Bourdieu. Some time spent in the garden, but generally chasing, chasing, weeks or months behind where I should have been. Some things got done. Most things didn't.
I did grow zinnias from seed for the first time. We had pots containing broad beans, runner beans, potatoes, mangetout and tomatoes. Not many of each but enough to say 'yes, we did grow a bit of our own'.
I won't list what I didn't do. Trust me, it is extensive.
So, this year I'm creeping up on Spring before it charges up and hits me, at full force, in the stomach. I know it's best to keep the seedheads on perennials until Spring. I've seen the goldfinches perched on the cardoons in years past. But for my peace of mind, and to steal a march on Spring, I have been cutting back, weeding, tidying and just trying to get ahead right now. Spring comes so fast, and before you know it you're bowled over by new growth; perennials shooting up where you wanted to tidy, cut back and weed. Bulbs daring you to step on their piercing blades.
I've seen the glorious views of waves of perennials golden in the low frosted light of winter. Well, I've seen them in magazines, and in drier counties than here. Here, the occasional frosting is less frequent than dank darkness, softening the stems, tarnishing the golden heads to the colours of decay.
So, I'm getting ahead this winter. It won't last, but in the meantime, I feel as though I'm winning the race.