As I sit in my garden office, which looks out over the top garden, I stare out of the window at the heavy rain pouring down from the heavens above and I feel an impending sense of ending, of closure.
I can understand why some people suffer from depression during the long Winter months when there is less light and importantly less sunlight but life like any great story must have sunlight and shadow. In the garden, as in life, there must be moments of joyous elation and moments of sadness and they need their opposites so that we can appreciate them for what they are. For what are the garden triumphs without the untold failures?
Winter in the Moosbach Garden
Winter can be a long affair here in The Moosbach Garden, we often plunge to -18 degrees Celcius and we can get snow for up to 4 months. I always remind myself that everything has its season, it’s time. Seeds can be like the heart after the ending of a relationship, they need that period of cold to prepare themselve for the springing of new love or the springtime to grow into something beautiful. We shouldn’t be too sad, it’s a natural process.
Winter has it’s advantages for us gardeners. we can catch up on the piles of gardening books that we bought in the Summer and takle those major landscaping jobs that are impossible to do when the garden is in full growth. For me, most importantly, it’s a time to breath, to look out over the garden and the forest beyond, to try and resolve where my place is in this wonderous world. I’m still pondering on that one to be honest, maybe my place is to be a perpetual wonderer.
Autumn is transitional
For me, Autumn is always bitter-sweet. On the one hand it marks the end of warm days working in the garden, of butterflies and bees, an end to curious passers-by staring through the garden gate to admire the summer flowers and the end of all but the hardiest of rose blooms but on the other hand it allows for reflection, both peronally and horticulturally. It’s been a glorious Summer here with just the right amounts of sunshine and rain, it’s not too many years that we can say that. The garden has been a riot of colourful flowers for months but now these things are being replaced by the glorious display of Autumn colour in the garden. I have a feeling when the leaves have all turned to red and gold and the rain washes down from above that it’s like doing the dishes after an amazingly decendent dinner party where everything was just perfect but the party is over. It is but a fleeting moment and in a few weeks when all the leaves have fallen we can see the garden for what it truly is, the bare bones like the skeleton of a dearly missed friend. The wonderous difference being that this friend is only sleeping. My advice is enjoy the moment, relish in the wonder of nature and mother earth, allow yourself to breath and let the pains of life leave you like frosted breath. Treat yourself to a garden pause before the work of putting the garden to bed. Feed your soul.
Now is a good time for reviewing the garden and foreward planning to help mother earth
Autumn is the perfect time for moving plants around in the garden, including dividing some perennials like phlox but I also like to use the time to think about what changes I can make next year to reduce my carbon footprint, to help nature and pollinating insects.
You can’t escape from hearing about climate change, it’s constantly on the news but I wonder how many people watch it and take no action to help. Here in the Moosbach Garden we are constantly updating our methods to be more nature and environment friendly, we still commit sins but we are working on doing better.
We grow 60% of our fruit and vegetables here and preserve what we can for the winter months, no road or air miles has got to be a good start to reducing our carbon footprint right? We are growing more from seeds and cuttings and using less poor quality, short lifespan plastics. I’d like to say that we were plastic free but we decided to use existing robust plastic which will not end up in landfill in a few months. Becoming environment friendly is a process like therapy and takes time but the first step is acknowledging that we have a problem.
We are sowing a wild flower meadow for next year and more trees and flowers for pollinators, as well as making our own plant fertiliser from Comfrey. Again, no chemicals, no plastics, no road miles. If you are interested in making your own organic plant feeds there are many articles and videos online. Nettle tea and comfrey tea are both excellent fertilisers.
Please join us in our committement to only buying locally sourced foods, in season and with no packaging, together we can make a difference and help our local communities and the planet at the same time.
We are all capable of change, my sister even baked a cake this week, she has a kitchen because it came with the house. Cake looked pretty amazing too.
Right, I’m off to feed the chickens and collect eggs. I wish you all much hapiness.
The Moosbach Garden.