Saturday, December 11, 2010

The winter garden

There's a simplicity about gardens in winter that I find very pleasing. It's a sort of pared-down beauty that provides a very tranquil contrast to the flashy glamour of summer.
I love my garden when it's at full throttle in July and August, but I also love it now, when everything is cut back and tidied away. I love the clean lines and empty pots and stark branches.
If you think I'm beginning to turn into a neatnik, you'd be absolutely right. The other day, I was even thinking of edging the lawn to give it that final crisp and even finish. Sanity prevailed, however.
Inside the house, practically every surface is smothered in throws and cushions and all the paraphernalia designed to make the job of getting warm, snuggling up and falling asleep as easy as possible. In the garden, though, everything is stark and swept.
This is in huge contrast to midsummer, when it is the house that is cool and minimalist and the garden that is burgeoning with foliage and flowers, and cushions and candles.
All the cannas, which until what seems like five minutes ago were happily flowering away, have a snug new winter home in the shed. The pond has been dredged of dead leaves. The containers have been emptied of frost-mushed nasturtiums.
I don't know where I found the time to do it, but I'm glad I did, because it was very therapeutic. I also found the time to write a comment piece for today's paper about Gardeners' World. I hesitate to give you the link, because I've bored you all rigid with my views on the subject many times before, both here on this blog and on other people's blogs. But just in case you want to read it, go here.