The light in the garden at this time of year can take your breath away more forcefully than the frost in the air.
By 10am the sun is high enough to illuminate the crystals of ice on the leaves and garden furniture. A blackbird turns over the crispy leaves under the fir trees looking for a tasty treat. Behind him, on the fence, a Robin sits and watches, not knowing that it too is being observed by a neighbour’s cat who is curled up on a near by shed. For now all seem safe and content.
This time of year I find myself making plans for the tasks ahead in the garden. New borders, paths and a new shed surrounded by summer flowering plants that would please the eye and the bees and the butterflies.
I have plans of dividing the garden in to two areas – for cut flowers and vegetables – and I can picture them clearly in my head. A low fence dividing the lawn with a gate leading to a narrow path which takes you to a secret area left to the wild.
If you saw the state of my garden – and the size of it for that matter – you’d soon realise that to achieve these dreams I’d need to convince Alan Titchmarch and the gang to spend a couple of months here – something they are unlikely to do as their garden makeover show hasn’t been on the TV for eleven years.
Perhaps this is the year I will make the effort and do something with the garden. The thing is, I love what it does for me. The birds and other wildlife and the shrubs and flowers, what few I have, all fill me with joy at any time of the year. Imagine what it would be like if there was some management of the space.
Here I am now, 28 December 2016, and I know that within a few weeks the snowdrops will be out and my spirits will be lifted and I’ll wonder why on earth I didn’t plant the dozens of other bulbs I have stored away in the shed.
No. This coming year is going to be different. I’m going to spend more time in the garden. Then, this time next year, I will add a footnote to this posting saying “See, I did it.”