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Gardening: Appreciating Change: (2) Wonder, Weather & Watching the Seasons - Cont.


And then one day there is an edge to the wind or the air just feels like it has become sharp, and you give a quick shiver and realise that the seasons, they are a changing. And you pay a little more attention to what is going on and realise that some of the leaves on the trees are just beginning to change colour. And then it happens! Reds, browns, yellows, and hues of all three come, sometimes quickly, sometimes over a couple of months depending on the temperatures. Amazing, awesome, wonderful. And then they start falling and whether it is collecting up leaves or cutting back old and dying plant material, you realise the is the season of change. Browse our ‘Seasonal Reflection’ pages for much more on this.

And Winter

Log fires, I wrote a number of years back, are a thing of the past, having given way to central heating. Well, following that period of time, they are back in many forms. Realising that we only really used the fire two or three times each winter, we yearned for the sound of burning logs but felt the cost of modern log-burners together with special flues, was a bridge too far and so stripped out a somewhat defective gas fire and returned to a good old-fashioned grate. Perhaps it was the fact that a major overhaul of our trees meant bringing down leylandii’s as well as taking down the occasional dead pear tree, and this in turn created a massive pile of logs. Not wanting to agitate those concerned about the greenhouse gases, we only burn them two or three times (still!) a winter.   

Time runs out for this particular article, so I’ll end it with a challenge: how about keeping a journal that is exclusively for noting down the changes that come with the weather and with the seasons throughout a year. While you  are doing that you might want to start jotting down all the changes that have taken place in your garden since you’ve been there, and if there haven’t been any, like the lady I quoted earlier, start pondering on what creative changes could add interest to your plot.

So many of us, and this must apply more if we live in urban areas (but it doesn’t have to be completely if that is you), I sense get more caught up in the worries of the ‘big affairs of life’ because so many comment how worrying life is today, and thus tend to miss the wonder of the world that we call ‘Nature’ all around us, changing week by week and month by month which, when we start to take note of it, brings a calming effect on life in general. So here is my plea: determine to take more note of what is going on in your garden in order to appreciate the changes more and more - and watch for the peace to descend!

Happy watching.

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I think I’ve written fairly extensively elsewhere on these pages about the joys of clearing up in winter and plotting and planning for the year ahead, so all that is left here is for me so say, have you ever gone out for a deciduous tree survey in winter and taken note of the skeletons of trees that winter reveals for us? Amazing. It’s a fun exercise and helps us appreciate again the structures of the trees we can so easily take for granted and which get covered for much of the rest of the year.


And So?

There is something about the Seasons that I suspect we all take for granted even though it is most obvious - plants change because of temperature and water, and temperatures and amounts of rainfall change because of the position of the sun and the effect that has on the weather, and that is what creates the seasons for us. Depending on your latitude, the seasons will vary all around the world. One of my sons lives in a tropical climate where it varies from mildly hot to very hot, from dry to seriously wet, from calm to sometimes hurricanes, and so his seasons are nowhere near as varied as ours. This thus becomes a call to appreciate the wonder of the incredibly varied seasons that we have. (Yes, I like their continuous sunshine - well mostly - certainly the warmth, but the cost of that climate is limited plant life and limited life changes through the year, and that I would not want to swap!

Ah, peace!