Chronicle december 2009 | Krönika februari 2010


January 2010

The sun goes up and the sun goes down all year round... it’s the rhythm of life.

I take a break from shovelling away snow, but my goodness, what amazing winter weather we’re now having in Stockholm, indeed in the entire region, in January. We’ve experienced some 40-50 cm of snow and nights with the thermometer going down to minus 10 -15 degree centigrade. For several days, the mercury even hit minus19. How is it possible, in such places in the world, to even think of having a garden? On the other hand, perhaps it’s that which keeps me going, despite the winter, snow, ice and cold.

Although it lovely to sit in the conservatory and gaze outwards, at the moment I’m sitting outside where the temperature’s minus 10 (and I’m well wrapped up), and enjoying the sight of the garden covered in snow. Mm... But January also brings with it the start of the new gardening year, a year full of new promise.

Truth be told, I feel that it’s quite amazing that yet another new gardening year is around the corner, but to be sure the days are finally beginning to become lighter. You can sense it quite clearly, in spite of everything. In fact, a great deal is happening despite the fact that the entire garden is blanketed in snow and the branches are full of snow and white frost. When I look out over the garden I’m reminded of something from a Disney film - only the reindeer are missing!

It’s in January that the serious work begins - browsing through seed catalogues, etc., feeding the birds, and for that matter other animals, too. Although we don’t have any roedeer in the garden (constructing a fence to keep them out was one of the first things we did when we moved in!), one of our dearest friends, Inga, has roedeer coming up onto her porch in search of food, and she makes sure that they are not disappointed.

“Think of everything that’s to come” is my motto as I sit here on a wicker armchair, out in the deep snow...Mm. My backside is beginning to feel a bit chilly, but thankfully I’m wearing warm, padded trousers.

My personal view is that in the long-term it’s worth taking the time to think ahead and look through catalogues. It’s not such a stupid idea, because soon it will be time to rinse all the seed boxes and prepare them for planting for a new season.

Bear in mind that certain plants have quite a long germination period, e.g. the garden heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens); personally I can’t be without it during the late summer nights when all the butterflies flutter around and the scents whirl around.

Our garden in January 2010 must be a pure dream for those who love snow and the winter. My own feelings, though, are somewhat mixed due to all the cold and freezing nights we’ve been through. I am, to say the least, worried that there has been a great deal of damage, but there’s not a lot one can do about it...  And so I plod around slowly and think of everything which will happen and everything that’s lying there concealed beneath the thick snow. People with a garden live on hope, so let your fantasy run free, despite the winter weather. He (or she) who lives on hope will see.
I wish all the best to my gardening friends and all of you who care about nature and everything that will ultimately emerge triumphant from beneath the snow. It’s quite amazing. I stand and gaze out over the garden in wonderment. As has already been said –a garden is life. And that’s that.

A Gentleman Gardener