December 17, 2018

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 7.1.2016: The Year Turns

There’s been much talk about the bewildering weather and the strange things happening in the garden (if it’s not under water) – not only early primroses and daffodils, but also flowers that seem to have forgotten it’s winter. Farmers should be thinking about growing rice as our staple food rather than potatoes.

I used to keep a list of everything in flower on the first day of each month but like many things I start, I haven’t kept it up, so I can’t really give personal evidence for climate change. But looking back through the garden diaries that I’ve been writing these last three years, what comes across is that I notice the same things every year, and that although there have been variations in flowering time, it is the cycle of the seasons – the changes in the garden as the earth turns – that is much more significant. Yes, it’s has been quite warm and herb robert is still in flower, but it is winter and so the trees are bare and the days are short, and I’m wanting to write again about winter-flowering iris, fairy primrose, witch hazel etc etc.

So, what’s new to write about? Oh yes, the effect of time itself and how the garden has aged (a thought prompted by a large round-numbered birthday round the corner for the gardener who’s more wrinkled, forgetful, weaker……). Flower-beds look a bit weary and past their best; annuals have had their day, while perennials are lying low in a mess of last year’s growth, and even for the trees, important precisely because they live so long, ageing is starting to be a problem; one lovely oak is now casting too much shade and his time might be up – hope that’s not true for the gardener.

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