Three gardens

"From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
-   Katherine S. White

Winter is beginning to take its hold now, the garden is losing its colour.  We are in the pause moment to some extent, everything is either dying down or just starting to get ready for Spring.  The hamamelis have buds on, the tips of the early bulbs are just starting to show, but in general colour is disappearing.  So the quote above struck a real chord with me as I realised it was very true.
The garden outdoors is always there, which is stating the obvious, but I mean that there are always things to do.  If it not frozen solid or covered in snow or raining hard I can generally be found out there faffing around doing something or another.  There is still some colour and always something needing attention.
The signs of Spring are already on the way and each little seedling is treasured as a sign of hope for the new year.
I am also on 'Edgeworthia Watch', will it survive, will this be the Edgeworthia that lasts me more than one year.  Time will tell.

There is also the garden of pots and bowls in the house.
Some of these plants live indoors all year, some of these are Winter lodgers who will go back outside once the Spring arrives.  I like the Winter jungle that the conservatory becomes, I've always liked house plants though I do struggle with them at times as they do rely on me more than the plants outside.  

and there is always the garden of the mind's eye, this garden is the largest this time of year as it is about the plans and hopes for next year and the following years. I plan continually about what I want to do in the garden and this time of year when the plants die back and the structure becomes more apparent again; I find my planning goes into overdrive. I have been thinking about the Wild Garden a lot this Autumn, last week these thoughts took another leap forward when I was re-fencing the side boundary.  Suddenly the boundary was more defined, the hedges trimmed back and new ideas started to link together.   

Winter is also seed-buying time, the time to sit and read the seed catalogues, to work out what you want to plant where and just what you fancy buying and will find space for somewhere.  Cold rainy days and seed buying go hand in hand.

and finally the fourth garden, or maybe its the 3.5 garden,
the garden in waiting in the greenhouse: the seedlings, the cuttings and the over-winterings.  Not quite outdoors, not quite indoors in pots, but in the greenhouse sitting there waiting patiently for their time to come.


  1. Love that quote, so true. I am on edgeworthia watch too, though this is my first year with one - I had honestly forgotten it wasn't evergreen, so panicked when it started to lose its leaves!! I too find no end of things to be done outside when weather allows, even now in the middle of winter, and buck myself up with visits to the fourth garden while I spend hours gardening in my head when I can't get outside. Look forward to seeing what you do with your wild garedn this coming year.

  2. So many fab gardens to choose from! ;)

  3. Excellent quote - I can so relate to it as I've spent much of this year gardening in my minds eye.

    I think you are right about the fourth garden, the neither indoor nor outdoor plants. Great post.

  4. That's a really good way of expressing the range of our gardening. I used to have many houseplants, but now that I have a larger outside garden they do get neglected too. Perhaps I should move them all into the greenhouse!

  5. Your conservatory looks like such a nice place to spend the winter - plants and books - I would love a room like this. Enjoy all three of your gardens.


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