Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

It’s a funny old time, that period between Christmas and New Year when we are supposed to lay dormant and do as little as possible. It many ways it is a gift that should be treasured but for many of us whose lives revolve around the hectic demands of “The Job” it can be challenging.

I have another week to go before I return to work and if I am honest I miss the routine that a working life dictates. This last year has been a hectic one with studying, exams, dealing with 50 plus emails a day, untold numbers of telephone calls and an ever-growing to do list. I really need to work on my life-balance. I will go the the corner of the garden and give myself a jolly-good talking to later.

Walks in the snow

Walks in the snow can be reviving, feeding the soul and providing the body with much needed exercise. I have to admit that our border collie “Luna” is always much more enthusiastic than me. She reminds me, at times. of Mr Schofield, my secondary school geography and Physical education teacher. She just needs a hockey stick to smack the backs of our legs for not making more of an effort and not running at a speed deemed appropriate. I secretly mock her comedy ears as she runs (I thinks that she suspects, a dog can say a lot with a look). Yesterday, I decided to take a different walk from the dog/PE instructor and have some alone time and it was lovely to me submerged in my own thoughts.

We have had quite a bit of snow over the last few weeks and we awoke on Christmas morning to a fresh covering of snow which has transformed our area into a magical Narnia-like world. Please note Mr Tumnus was nowhere to be seen but it was reminiscent of the story as the snow was melting, the tricking of mountain streams could be heard and it was evident that the Evil Queen was no more. It has to be said that I am definitely a Spring and Summer person, I am happiest when the plants are flowering, the bees are busily buzzing around the garden collecting nectar and birds are rushing around finding food to feed their ravenous broods. I turn into “The Grinch” around Christmas time and no amount of inducement will persuade me that it’s lovely and we’ll have such fun, maybe I should hibernate like a bear and re-appear in acceptable society when it’s all over.

What I do admire in the Winter months is natures calm acceptance of this quiet period when nothing much is happening. As the snow melts and the soils begins to warm, the plant life doesn’t get all English and say “oh look there’s a bit of sun let’s put on some shorts”, instead it bides its time and awaits for a prolonged period of warm weather before venturing forth. I have to admit to looking for signs of swelling plant buds, I know, of course, that we have another 3 months of Winter before life returns to the garden but I cannot help myself.

Such lofty plans for next years garden

The internet is awash with enticing offers and my inbox is full of emails tempting me to order wonderous perennials and here in the Moosbach Garden we always dream big. As I have said before, gardens take time, first is the hard-work creating new areas (terraces in our case), digging new beds and planting new trees and shrubs and then the waiting game. Trees, shrubs and plants need time to establish to get their roots in the soil before they really start growing. I read a book once about an English garden and the creator of the garden said ” I wish we had planted more trees and hedges in the first year” and it is so true. We have Magnolia trees that were planted 5 years ago and they are only now beginning to grow in earnest. We are growing more Dahlias and Delphiniums in 2021 and they work really well with our ever increasing number of David Austin roses. I don’t think that my loves of roses will ever fade (unlike the blooms) and every year we add new varieties to our garden. For me the zenith of the gardening year is that special time in early June when all of the roses flower for the first time. This year we are adding a nature garden, where we are encouraging natural wild flowers and grasses, more dense planting of steep areas to create more intimate and secluded garden areas and the new hydrangea and rose gardens should come into their own. Our garden terrace will become more of a sales area where we will have our wide assortment of wonderful David Austin roses that are for sale and we shall be starting with a few hand selected perennials in our shop as well.

Who knows what 2021 will bring but we have to fill our hearts with hope and positivity

It is fair to say that 2020 has been a very challenging years globally and for many people younger than myself (that’s the majority of the population) it is the first time when hardship and restrictions have been experienced. It is so hard not to feel down-hearted by it all but we have to believe that this is a temporary period of our lives, that the sun will come out again and we can start returning to normal, whatever that is.

The power of positivity is a wonderous thing and laughter really is the best medicine. A very dear friend of mine is feeling very down after months at home where all the projects possible in a small garden have been completed. I think that you can only watch so much television before your brain is turned to mash potatoes. I will tell you what I told them, it is a very difficult situation that we all find ourselves in but every cloud has a silver-lining. Why not use all of this time to learn something new, there are so many free resources on the internet. I think it does several things, it engages the brain, it gives a sense of purpose and add new skills and knowledge for the future. For me, everyday is a school day, it’s part of my evolution and one day I will emerge from my chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly. And please spare a thought for people in your community who might be alone right now, sometimes a telephone call can be a lifeline, even if you don’t solve world peace.

So now a little something to tempt you

We have increased our range of wonderful David Austin roses that we have for sale and we now ship products as well. We will be continuing with Picnics in the Moosbach Garden and overnight stays will be available (Corona permitting) but hey we have to hope that this pandemic is over soon – right?

So all of our roses, rose feed and vouchers for picnics and overnight stays can be found by clicking here.

As I look out of the window I can see that it has started snowing again, so I am off to flick though catalogues of plants that I really don’t need but will probably buy and pretend that Spring is starting next week. If you have any gardening questions please send then via email to info@moosbach-schwarzwald.com

By Andrew Huber

I am an English gardener who has been living in the Black Forest in Germany for 4 years. Slowly I am transforming 16 acres of mountain into a garden. Feel free to email me if you have any gardening questions and I'll see if I can help.

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