When I moved from Sweden to Ireland in 2004 I was most struck by the lack of winter. Coming from a place of snow, ice and soil sometimes frozen solid for months on end, I was amazed when the last leaves falling off the trees and the last flowers of the year were met by hellebores, snowdrops and daffodils without so much as a snowflake to separate them.
Since then we have had a few colder spells with some snow, but nothing resembling winter as I know it.
This year has been exceptionally mild so far and the garden is full of budding daffodils already, only a couple of days into the New Year. We are feeling worried about the changing climate and our land and plantings are planned out in a way that we hope will prove sustainable, resilient and diverse in the coming years. We have aimed for a mix of perennial and annual food crops such as tubers, shoots, leafy vegetables and onions. We have also included as many different varieties of fruits and berries that we could fit into the space. Another important aspect are added plants for pollinators all throughout the year.
One upside of the warmer weather is all the flowers we get to enjoy right through the darker time of the year.
We walked around the garden recently and captured their beauty. Many of them are white or light pink and surprisingly delicate looking in the low light.
We also came across some mushrooms looking like they were taken right out of fairy-tale. We believe this variety is poisonous. They only lasted a couple of days before shrivelling into nothingness.
Our turkey tail mushrooms have developed naturally into quite large colonies. They are said to have amazing health benefits but we have not tried them or researched the area further.
Around our main circle work continued with mulching, cutting back, and tidying up the different areas. We also have some work to do with tidying up our willow dome that has been battered by the autumn storms.
We are looking forward to the year ahead with anticipation. There are so many seeds to plant, seedlings to nurture and crops to harvest. Each year we are more and more awestruck by the beauty, resourcefulness and wonder of nature. We give our time and care for this small part of the planet and in return we find nourishment, entertainment, excitement, harmony and peace. Who could ask for more?