It hardly feels like a whole year has passed since I wrote to you in January last year and bravely asserted that I hoped 2021 would be a better year. I sit back a little and pause as write this as I try and think was 2021 better than 2020. It is a hard call but things were not so restricted for so long in 2021 so I am going to say that it was better, marginally, but there is still work to be done.
Dear, dear garden, as we head into 2022 the weather has mainly felt dank. We have had some bright frosty days and they are always good days. I tell myself that the frost is killing off the pests I do not want to encourage and I love the crisp bright sun and blue sky. We also seem to have had more than our fair share of misty and foggy days. Fog is in itself a vague concept that is hard to grasp. Where is the boundary between mist and fog? Some days are a bit misty and others are, well, foggy, but are there moggy days (my cats prick up their ears, mutter 'all days are moggy days' and go back to sleep). There are mizzly days: a grey not as heavy as drizzle but too heavy to be mist sort of days. There are those most magical of mornings that as I am driving to work I see the ground mist rolling across the fields that line the motorway. I often wish I could stop and photograph it but of course this is impossible. I had never really seen ground mist until I started travelling this route on a regular basis. Now that I am driving to work routinely again I realise how much I missed seeing the change of the weather and the seasons along this route I feel I know every inch of. I missed seeing the sun rise on these winter mornings through the rear window. I miss that magic moment when I reach the peak of a small incline in the road (I am pretty sure calling it a hill is an exaggeration) and I can see the Emerald City I am heading for gleaming in the sun, sometimes wreathed in mist and murk and rain and sometimes I cannot see it at all. I always love that moment though when I look to see how it is today. Ok, it is not the Emerald City, but it feels like that stage in the journey. The yellow brick road has taken me thus far and the end is visible at last. Its a bit like that moment when going on holiday as a child when the competition was always who would see the sea first. Seeing low hanging clouds apparently was not a good alternative.
Ground mist is the only mist I would declare a liking for as mist and fog generally are not a favourite weather. There is something wonderfully gothic about a misty murky day. Nothing looks quite as it should and the air feels thicker from all the moisture woven into it. When I was at junior school I remember we were sent home early a few times because of the fog descending. Maybe this is one of the reasons I look at it with some worry. I hate driving in fog. Once I was travelling between Leicester and Nottingham one very foggy evening, the fog was so dense that the cars were all crawling along trying to see where the edges of the road were. I have never wanted to drive in conditions like that again.
and fog makes everything so wet. The trees drip with it, big ploppy cold drops of water that make a bee-line to slip down my neck. The ground, often already soggy, becomes even more saturated, it is relentless. It makes gardening usually impossible as the soil is just not workable. I confess I don't worry too much about compacting the lawn. I don't worry too much about the lawn generally and specifically. I feel like I should say I know that I should do, and I do know that I should do, I choose not to. It's green, it sits there performing a good function of making spaces between the borders, it should be content with its role in life.
Today is a bit dank whereas yesterday was milder with some welcome sun.
We have not had any rain for several days and the ground is a bit less sodden when it thaws in-between frosts. This means that some gardening has been possible, with weeding taking place and a bit of pruning back boundary hedges. We were told on the news the other day that we were going to have the coldest night so far of the winter. Some parts of the country did, but here it was a little warmer than other nights. In the garden the spring bulbs are emerging and I am enjoying seeing which of my named snowdrops are returning and also how many there are of each type. I have never spent wildly on named snowdrops, but I have a few that in my world view were expensive (£15 max is what I have spent, peanuts in the real world of galanthophiles). I stand on the crazy paving patio (crazy paving is cool) and take a moment to pause and breathe. 2022 will be a year. It might be a good year, it might be another meh of a year, it might be an awful year. It will be a year and it will happen one day at a time. Remind of me of this if I forget at any point.
Here's a wonderful year of gardening - we shall continue to progress and develop together
With all love
Yours loving gardener
Stay safe and be kind.