When I first met up with Garden.ie friends one of the more experienced gardeners told me that she hung up her gardening gloves at the end of November until the end of January – or maybe it was the end of October to the end of December – whichever it was, I was amazed as I couldn’t imagine two whole months without a gardening “fix”!
I have worked out ways to garden despite the weather, and regardless of the season. When it is cold I don leggings under my waterproof ski trousers, two pairs of socks and a woolly hat. When it rains I switch to a waterproof jacket, and when it is both cold AND wet I resort to an old coat of my late husband – because it is huge it becomes like a tent round me, and with the hood pulled up over the wooly hat I am snug as a bug in a rug! I have several thicknesses of gardening gloves depending on the season and have become quite adept at weeding with the thermal gloves I wear in Winter!
I have even been known to squat down on my kneeler with a large golf umbrella providing shelter when there is a section of a border I’ve almost finished weeding when the rain comes down! But the main thing is that I am always well wrapped up against the elements and the work keeps me from getting cold – in fact I am often so hot that the hat comes off for a while to cool me down!
This year I left most of the clearing up of the borders till January but I have been able to get most of them cleared by now. I haven’t stepped on too many emerging bulbs, but I think that next year I will return to my previous habit of doing this work earlier to avoid the collateral damage to the spring flowers! For me this is the time when I can really see the structure of the garden, and because of my policy of close planting and encouraging self-seeders, once the growth gets going in Spring all that bare earth will be covered!
I am really pleased with the work I tackled this last week – the Birch that is a feature of this area really shines in the winter light although so far I have resisted the suggestion that the main stems should be washed!!!