I do hope your Year of 2016 has started well for you. I am looking forward to a year of more flowers and more vegetables and being outside. At this time of year I long for Spring and yet know that I need to appreciate January for what it is in the life cycle of nature.
The short hours of daylight always start to get to me around now. However I know that each day we get a little more daylight and that gives me hope. We have had so far had such a very mild winter. It has however been extremely wet and rainy and on our heavy clay soil it has been like a wet soggy swamp! My wellies easily get stuck in it and walking in the grass just makes it a mud bath !
Before all the rains came we did get quite a bit of trimming and cutting back we needed to do in the Autumn so I was pleased that is all done now. Every time I went out our resident Robin would join me and several blackbirds roamed around the grass.
Today and I suspect for the days to come I am not venturing into the garden much. It is very windy, I can hear the wind literally whistling around the house ! There is a chill in the air today and has been raining hard! Apart from restocking the bird feeders and cleaning the birdbath, I prefer to ponder the seed catalogues and gardening books indoors with a nice cup of hot chocolate :)
However we are very lucky. Many northern parts of UK have flooded very severely, homes, gardens and businesses badly affected. Many people left their homes at Christmas and are still not back. In some parts animals and wildlife have suffered loss of their homes and grazing as well.
Nature has responded to the recent very mild weather. We have had our Elephants ears flowering beautiful pink blossom way too early. Our Magnolia tree buds are much further out than they should be. If they do not stop now and get a frost it could affect the blossom this year.
I have even seen birds apparently checking nest sites and I saw a sparrow with moss and twigs in its beak and a Woodpigeon carrying a large twig. I just hope they are simply checking sites rather than laying eggs as it is simply too early and could be disastrous if we get a cold snap soon.
However the mild weather has meant food is more plentiful and most of the birds visiting our garden look very healthy and sleek. I saw a rather plump Squirrel yesterday sitting somewhat lazily on the fence who has clearly done well through the Autumn and early Winter!
So due to the weather I am taking a break for now from doing any actual gardening but the planning is all going on :) Onward with the gardening year and to living and gardening in harmony with our friends in nature.
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