A letter to the garden - January 2019

Dear garden

Happy new year!  It has been a couple of months since my last letter and the year has turned, so I thought it was time we had a catch up.  Its been a bit damp recently, we have had some rain and the pond is refilling.  This is good.  Today as I write I look out of the window and it is a very January day:  it is that dark not very daylight grey, it is windy and there is the hint of rain in the air.
I wake up on such mornings and know that even a brief glimpse of sun will be the saving of the day.  It's not that cold yet, thankfully, but the snow is coming.  I have looked at the forecast for next week and the word I shall use is 'flakes'.  Right on target, the snow cometh.  I usually expect snow to arrive mid-to-late January so brace yourself, it is probably on its way.   We have had a couple of frosts but it has not yet turned deeply cold with several consecutive cold nights. I have not fleeced up the greenhouse yet though I am sure I will have to do so soon. 

Dear garden, as you know, gardening continues throughout the year.  January is a hard month as we will most likely see the aforementioned snow and frost and rain; but I spend as much time as I can with you and even if I cannot do any meaningful work I observe your moods and changes with great care.
The other day whilst weeding I found this orange fungus growing on a dead tree stump. I am hoping this is a good or at worse a neutral thing.  By the way, can I just mention, the never ending crop of Wild Avens is really challenging.  It feels a never-ending task to remove it.  Though even as I say this to you I know that different parts of the garden attract different weeds that colonise.  I am always fascinated by this and I use it to help me identify the different soil conditions there are.  The Wild Avens appear to enjoy the heavier clay/poorly draining partso of the garden (yes there is moss you can see as well).
The early snowdrops are already flowering and the crocii and the daffodils are starting to push through the earth.  Every year, as you know, I add more snowdrops but now that you are in your twelfth year the clumps are bulking up well and I have been able to start dividing them and spreading them around even more.  Sometimes, dear garden, I think I might love you most in the spring, as then you give me probably the most joy as I need every scrap of colour and hope that you can provide.
I am delighted this year that there are quite a few self-sown cyclamen now in the garden.  I have hoped that they would spread around and so I have to thank you and the ants for this.  I do not thank the ants for much and you do have a lot of ants.  When I saw this first self (ant) sown seedling flowering the other day I knew that I would forgive the ants much in the coming year.
and I have bought you a present, a couple of new snowdrops: Dionysis and Tiny, I hope you like them.

Until next time....

love and kisses

Your gardener xxx