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It seems like a really long winter so far with a festive interlude and I know for many that January can be a tough month. With little time to get into the garden or down the allotment, for some gardeners it’s a time of frustration. Some years ago I felt the same but I worked on reframing my mindset about winter and now I really quite enjoy the time off. Of course, there is still some work to be done in the garden from pruning and planting out trees, shrubs and bare roots but overall with less to do, how do you reframe the quieter, colder months?
I remind myself daily how we need the seasons and to flow with them the best I can and there is a beauty in winter when most things sleep in the garden. I spend time topping up bird baths and feeders, looking at the textures and planning ahead. Sitting by a window looking out onto the garden focusing in on the detail, looking back through photos and making notes of what worked well and the elements I would like to change for the coming seasons. I sketch (badly) each bed and border, making changes to the sizes if I want, listing plants I’d love to add in or any hard landscaping that needs doing before the busy spring time soon comes around. I look forward to spring, it’s my favourite time of year, but I try not to wish time away as it’s so precious and winter has a beauty we sometimes have our eyes closed too. Mother nature wants us to stay warm inside, rest and store energy - just like many plants do!
I tidy seed packets, make lists (even spreadsheets with the seeds I’d like to sow - Rhino have a great blog post covering which seeds to plan when - Gardeners' favourite monthly seed sowing) and get everything prepared for when it’s a few degrees warmer and a bit lighter too. When I do get time to step outside I’ll go for a woodland walk and forest bathe for well-being, before heading home for a cup of tea. I hope you enjoy January and get all of your planning and preparations done for the year ahead, it’s the perfect time of year to do it.