Gardening in Winter

When I first met up with 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!!!

7 thoughts on “Gardening in Winter

  1. Thanks Mary! I just planted some summer bulbs today – they don’t generally do well for me, but my sister Elizabeth bought a load on impulse and when I helped her plant them she gave me a share!


  2. Joan Gallagher

    You have the garden looking pristine Hazel, great work! While I’m not quite as industrious as you over December and January, I too couldn’t imagine the two months without some pottering at least. Not sure about weeding under a golf umbrella though – that’s true dedication!


  3. Mary Tobin

    We have all been gardening over the last few months well wrapped, but thankfully January was a dry month and the rain in the last few days has been welcome. The birch is looking gorgeous, well positioned and the spring bulbs are always a welcome.


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