Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Of Days And Seasons

I am a creature of habit. I say so with fondness and I don't even care if I borrow the cliché, because it fits so well.

Habits and routines are wonderful girders for first born children who love to follow the rules. And I am a text book first child.  So when I'm told, it's time to prune the roses, by a dear friend who holds all the horticultural papers and know-how I could ever dream of -  I do it. No questions asked. 

Rambling Albertine Rose - On the chook shed, at Crabapple House

Aside from winter pruning, there's hardly any other pottering to lure me into the garden at Crabapple House, right now. And that's a good thing, because it's too miserable to lose any more of our holiday week out there, than absolutely necessary.

The raspberries have been pruned. The last of the hydrangeas will endure the same severe haircut I have planned for the roses, and then we shall wait for spring. 

Already I have seen eager pea shoots squirrel their way out of last summer's compost and raise their feeble tendrils. Runaway raspberry plants think they might find feet in the veggie patch but I've spotted them, and their days are numbered. 

While my garden may look like a sorry tangle of leafless limbs and veggie-less plots, there is a rhythm I enjoy with each season and its chores. 

Perhaps that's why I love the old ways of life. When people relied on their gardens for food and medicine, and worked with it to coax a bounty for today and tomorrow. I love to read about victory gardens, planted during wartime to provide families with food in times of dire lack. Of self sufficient farmers who carve most of what they need from their plots and share with their community. 

And I like to taste a little of this for myself, when I twist cold oranges from the tree, and bring my fresh feast indoors to share with those I love. Winter oranges, juicy and fragrant with thick skins I will toss right back into the compost. Basil and mint for my tea, pungent and able to lift the lowest of winter moods. 

And eggs. From the chook shed, covered in my rambling Rosa Albertine, where even the hens will have less to cover their roof, until spring steals the show with new finery. 

How about you? What's happening in your garden this week?