The season for wooly jumpers, cosy fires and comfort food! The days are getting shorter now that we are in the last month of the year. Everything is sleeping in the garden now, insects snoozing in hollow stems, and the garden in deep rest. As we are tipped as far away from the sun as we can be, the earth is dark and cold. There are still wonders to behold if you look closely. Mushrooms and toadstools still shine amongst the decaying leaves if you take the time to find them. The warm, but wet weather here has extended the great network of fungal mycelium spreading out beneath the forest floor, and it is a joy to discover.
Looking for beauty amongst the decay has helped me through these busy, but dark few months. I can't help look out my window at the wet, soggy garden with disappointment, but there are many incedental wonders to notice if you take the time to spot them.
Talking of fungi, with all the wet and windy weather the past two months, the leaves are falling faster than ever, and we have been busy collecting leaves in bags, to make leaf mould. Leaf mould is made when Autumn leaves are broken down by fungi, rather than bacteria.
Collect leaves and pop them in to their own compost bin with water / Collect in bags, make holes, and water. Leave outside for at least a year to rot down.
This year I have had success with hydrangea cuttings! I am so pleased that I have created new plants, which are thriving. Taking cuttings is very easy, and is well worth doing if you want to extend your hydrangea family! This is best done in early spring when when the plant is leafing out, to late summer when the leaves are still lush and green.
I cut and dried my hydrangeas too, in the hope I may have time to take a winter wreath! Unfortunately my website shop has kept me very busy this festive season, so they still are waiting to be used. They have dried very well - hopefully you will see them in my easter wreath!
We celebrated the Winter solstice with our annual bonfire. It won't be long until the garden senses that we are tipping back towards the warm, life-giving sunshine. In fact, there are bulbs popping through already. It won't be long until the elegant snowdrop is flowering, providing the first pollen for the hibernating bees over winter.
It may have been the darkest time, but it is time to rejoice and rest as it will only get lighter from now on.
Thank you for reading! See you in January!