Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another Winter Whine

I've tried pretty hard to embrace my inner winter but I've run out of goodwill for the season. I reckon Golden Girl might have the right idea - she's been snuggled up in her nesting box since the first sign of cold.  After my post on the first day of winter when I exhausted myself enthusing five things to love about this season, I've had to disqualify myself from Hazel's Winter Wednesday postings. I haven't been able to think of anything worth blogging about on a Winter Wednesday. And lots of those things I blogged about loving on the first day are starting to irritate me now. I lost those gorgeous gloves after one too many wines out with the girls. Eldest Monkey Boy kept fighting me for the fuzzy sheepskin on the comfy chair. The fireplace got damaged and lost a big chunk from it's back and now whenever it's lit, I think of another household job to do, the money we'll have to spend repairing it and the health hazard we're creating by letting smoke escape into the monkey boys' room.

For the past few weeks I've been racking my brain so that Hazel doesn't think I'm a complete dud. I even dedicated an entire week's worth of drama classes to celebrating the Winter Solstice and the kiddies and I did lots of imaginative winter stuff re-creating ancient rituals to bring back the sun and wrapping ourselves in black sheets creeping around to new age music being the evil darkness (yep I do get paid for this!). But it didn't make me feel much better. Sure it won't get any darker any earlier or lighter any later now but the Winter Solstice doesn't actually signify the middle of winter... there's still loads more to go and July is surely the coldest month of our year.

But yesterday while I was sitting in the backyard I did manage to find a couple of things to cheer me up amongst the weeds.
This wee crimson flower that caught my eye on the broad bean plants. I think I've turned into a bit of a nana - little things like that excite me. I'm so glad I planted a combination of white and crimson flowered broad beans - beautiful. And because this is pretty much the first year I've attempted to grow edibles over winter and because I now have chooks to tend to outside, I've noticed a lot more about my garden at this time of the year. Last week I told you the discovery I made about parts of the garden that don't even receive a ray of sunshine at the moment. Like the herb patch - which last year also housed my garlic. No wonder the garlic did so poorly. I've also discovered that one of my other patches just isn't getting anywhere near enough sun at the moment. And the snow pea seeds I've attempted are not even making a showing. The few that popped their heads up before the sun got this low have been completely chomped by snails. So in the future I really ought to just plan a rest for a couple of my patches over winter and concentrate on the back patches near the chook run. I wonder if there's a green manure crop for winter spots that don't receive much sun?

But because winter in my garden is all about the bottom end, I've been prettying it up a bit down there. I've put to use some of the bits that have been hanging about and recycling them as pot plants. I popped some pansies in this old paint tin.
And into this leaky old watering can.
And this broken thingy my mum gave me years ago.
 And I'm figuring that waxing lyrical about a couple of flowers that are colouring my winter is enough to give Hazel the impression that I'm actually a really positive, earth-mother type who can see the good in everything.


  1. Your winter seems positively warm compared to ours. January is normally our coldest month, and we have a hard time even keeping anything alive in the greenhouse over the winter.

    I love the variety of planters. Its always neat to see gardens that have that touch of whimsy.

  2. Hi there VG, chin up - it's supposed to get to 17C today... I planted a green manure crop from eden seeds that has grown very well in the shade of the fence. I've got tons of seeds left and am happy to send you some - just drop me an email!

  3. I too often had that same thought about teaching...'To think I get paid for this!" Chuckle. I am going to award you an elephant stamp AND a gold star for effort with this post.

    Now, do you think Golden Girl is really keeping warm or has she gone clucky on you? Silkies have a habit of doing that. My great nephew's (Yes I have one of those and he is thirty!) silky is clucky and he is putting some fertile eggs under her.

    If you don't want to do this, I think you should try to break her of sitting...She will lose condition. Separate her in a box for a couple of days. .. with food and water of course.

  4. K-Koira I know I really shouldn't complain because you're right - our winter is nothing to complain about. I am spoilt. I can't imagine how I'd go in a really cold country.
    Ah Funkbunny, I'd be interested to know what seeds you planted - I won't worry for this year but will look into it for next winter I think. Thanks.
    Hazel I really don't think I deserve an elephant stamp - I'm feeling a little sheepish that I'm such a whinger. Golden Girl has gone clucky for sure. I have been taking her out a couple of times a day and hoping that she'll get over it. Can't manage chicks again at the moment so I won't do the fertile eggs. Perhaps it is time to separate her in a box. Hmm - seems a bit cruel. But I suppose it's not natural depriving her of the fertile eggs either.

  5. I'll give you a +1 for the flowers :-). I don't have much in the veggie garden but at least I have flowers in winter in Auckland, so I should be happy even if it is cold. They really are a pleasure to look at :-)


    I find that I can post a lot because I am cooking so much more in Winter!

  6. Looks like a lovely winter's day to me VG! Nice snaps.

  7. I had no idea broad beans came in magenta! Nice and bright for this time of year.

  8. Well, I reckon your post is fairly upbeat - IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES... Actually, you should be thankful that you can still keep growing edible stuff during your Winter. My garden more or less shuts down for about 4 months every year! You have done a great job with planting those flowers in the old watering-can etc. They add lots of character.

  9. I'm whingey & whiney too VG! & almost enjoying it I think :(

  10. Love your pots and pansies. I find that just creeping out into the cold after breakfast to check for caterpillars on the veg is my limit for the garden at the moment. At least I only found one on my asian greens today. He is no more. I must admit though, I prefer the cold to the excessive heat and I am still harvesting lettuce.

  11. As I become more and more involved in gardening the desire to celebrate winter solstice has increased. Alas I don't know how. You however have just given me some inspiration. Thanks.


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