The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Monday, 21 December 2015

Counting down

There is a lot of counting down in December, many of us lighting an advent candle to mark each day leading us to Christmas day, others indulging in a chocolate a day (I do both!). Some of us count down to finishing school or work for the Christmas break or to the Christmas party. My countdown though is to Winter Solstice! This is more often than not on the 21st December but this year it is tomorrow, the 22nd December, more precisely at 04.49. The day after which the days start to get longer again and for me the promise of Spring. 
Spring you might say though has come early this year, or have we had a super-long Autumn? Its certainly been very mild here in Huddersfield the last few days, there has been a lot of talk in the media about daffodils and snowdrops being in bloom, blossom on trees. I'm not sure about this as there will definitely be some varieties that given a mild winter will flower earlier, and there are some well-known snowdrops which flower before Christmas anyway. But there is no getting away from the mild weather. Its looking like we may have one of the warmest Decembers on record. My bulbs are starting to come up, I'm planning a day of winter tidying this week, weather permitting, so I'll have to take care not to damage any emerging spikes of foliage. But as soon as we get any cold weather the plants will just sit tight and wait it out. So far we have had one or two frost here and a sprinkling of snow but other than that it has been wet, wet, wet and windy. Its been the lack of sunshine though that has been the hardest to take. There seems to have been a constant gloom throughout December that even the sparkle of Christmas and Strictly has struggled to shine through. But I did manage a walk the other day to forage for some foliage and made a wreath for my dads grave.
I also decorated a willow ring that I made last year and made a couple to give as presents.
Luckily I did manage to get busy at my allotment a few weeks ago, before all this rain, and cover most of the empty beds with a layer of well-rotted manure or compost. I've still got some leeks, cabbages, sprouts, kale, chard and celeriac to see me for a few more weeks. So it is virtually sorted for winter now, just a couple of other beds to tidy up now, like the raspberry bed and the main fruit beds. I even managed to give my shed a good tidy as well!
At this yuletide I have a very welcome visitor to my garden, usually making himself known as I do my check on my greenhouse. What is it about Robins that make you think they are looking right at you, the way they cock their heads and really seem to connect with you. No other birds seem to do that. The little delicate trilling that he makes is a sure sign that he is around and waiting for some mealworms.
I bought this feeder especially for him as he was struggling a bit with the seed feeder, though he can do it. Robins seem to have learnt how to use them now, though its often a battle to get on it when the sparrows are in force. The blue tits also seem to like this one too.

Enjoy the Winter Solstice and the return to longer days.

10 comments:

  1. Lovely seasonal pictures of the robin and your lovely wreaths - have a lovely Christmas Annie.

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  2. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. Good to see that you've spent time on your plot getting it ready for winter and next year.
    Like you I've had a robin around which is such a delight.
    Thanks, and you too. Flighty xx

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    1. It really makes me so happy seeing my robin. Such a delight like you say. Merry Christmas Flighty

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  3. Last here just after Christmas we went to Wentworth Castle deer park and it was absolutely thick snow although we had no snow here in Wakefield. We have a female blackbird that looks straight in the window at us when it is on the bird table.

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    1. Yes I remember us getting snow on Boxing day last year, no sign of anything like that this year. Thankfully the rains have now subsided.

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  4. The arrival of the winter solstice always brings a smile to my face Annie as did your robin photos. Here in north Cheshire only one frost to date and although the hellebores are ahead of themselves the snowdrops and daffies have still to appear in my borders. Season's Greetings to you and I hope that the new year treats you, your garden and allotment kindly.

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    1. Thanks Anna. Merry Christmas to you.

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  5. Oh...here's to longer days!!! I loved those wreaths and your little robin. What a pretty witch hazel!I hope you had a lovely Christmas! xxx

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    1. Thanks Snowbird, yes all over like a flash. But enjoying the break from work. Merry Christmas to you

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