December in retrospect.

The light is returning slowly, every day we have a few more minutes of day light. As we look back on the darkest month of the year, we realize that more time should have been spent in the garden.

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We were busy with building work indoors and it was a month with more than the average time spent in the lovely company of friends and family.  All six of us also managed to get colds and needed time to rest and recuperate.

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When we did get out in the garden, time was spent tidying up amongst the plants, removing some spent stalks and flower heads to the compost and mulching the ground. We did not cover the vegetables beds with cardboard as planned so that is the first item on our to-do list for the coming weeks. We are planning to put down sheep’s wool mixed with wood chips on top of the cardboard as very nutritious mulch that the slugs will not like to cross. Hope fully this combination of materials will suppress the weeds in spring and we will be able to plant our vegetable seedlings straight into the beds in early summer. We never dig the beds over, but add mulches to the surface and let the earth worms do the underground work for us.

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Vegetable garden covered in snow.

We also spent time just enjoying the snow in December, marvelling at the beauty and contrast it brought to our piece of land. Everything looked so different covered in a white blanket.

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Our circle is not very colourful at this time of year, but it is nice to see how the different areas of the garden are starting to fill out and change as our trees, shrubs and groundcovers take hold.

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We are looking forward to a couple of very busy months with hedge trimming, mulching, weeding and weaving our living willow dome back together. It has suffered a fair amount of battering in the recent storms. We also need to spend time creating lots of plant supports for roses from willow and branches.

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We have missed our days pottering around the place as it is the best way to add a sense of calm and purpose to our lives. Almost any problem seems smaller when we have had the time to think it over while working on the land. Nature rewards us constantly with great tasting food, natural remedies and unrivalled beauty. The more time and effort we put in, the greater the reward. We cannot think of anything else that we would rather do.

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The only snowdrop in December.

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