Thursday, 5 January 2012

In, or out?

A ferocious wind has been blowing for the last few days, strong enough to tear off branches and throw trees to the ground. January doing its best to make an impression, for ordinarily this is a time of year marked by anticlimax – following on as it does from sparkly December and all the excitement of Christmas – cold, dark and grey. And while it’s true that you could spend scarcely a thought for your garden this month and suffer few consequences for the rest of the year, that would be a shame. There is work to be done now, whether outside muffled against the weather, or inside by the fire, marshaling resources for the year to come. This is the time for ordering seeds, for cleaning tools and forcing rhurbarb, sowing sweet peas and planting fruit trees, for moving shrubs and for establishing hedges.

Above all though, this is the time for new resolutions, for planning or – better yet – for dreaming of what the garden will be. You can’t do the planning until you’ve done the dreaming, so you should allow yourself the luxury of indulging your imagination this month. Books or magazines, blogs and articles in the lifestyle section of the weekend papers all provide a wealth of material for inspiration, helping you to picture how you want your garden to be, to look and, just as importantly, to feel, over the months to come.

A good enough excuse, should you want it, for staying indoors.