Saturday 7 January 2012

Slow Start

It seems to be taking me ages to gear up and get to grips with this New Year. 2012, goodness. I remember when I was small thinking that I'd be ancient by the time the Millennium came around (all of 26) so 2012 seems pretty futuristic.

January has blown in on a fierce gale that's still buffeting our valley this morning. Trees are thrashing about, bending and bowing in the wind and chilled me to the bone out feeding the hens this morning. So B and I are cosying up indoors while the hardier souls in our family go for a swim.
Now the decorations are put away again, signs of the New Year are appearing. The first week of January always sees the first jug of daffodils on my mantelpiece. Thanks to the mild start to winter they've been around for weeks but I'm very strict about not buying any until after Christmas, a little herald of the spring that is still so far away.
I like winter, it's a slow Spring I despair of a bit. My favourite pastime this time of the year is daydreaming about the garden. My books come out again and piles appear on the kitchen table for a quiet read with a cup of coffee and by the lamp in the living room for the evening.
This is the stash on the kitchen table, mostly food and gardens. I've turned into a complete Monty Don convert recently. Once upon a time I found him a bit snobby if I'm honest but since he came back to Gardener's World I've really enjoyed his gentle, mellow approach to growing and his writing is fantastic.

The Ivington Diaries is next on my wish list and a bargain, second hand copy of The Weekend Gardener is one its way to me too.
Seeds have been ordered, seed potatoes are on their way and I've been doing lots of scribbling in my notebook. My head is full of ideas to change the borders. We've been here for four years now so a fair few perennials could do with being divided and rejuvenated.
(A thrifty New Year find. Anything that reminds me of The Good Life finds a home at our house! I can just imagine this poster on the wall in Tom and Barbara's kitchen.)

I'm not too confident about setting too but suppose I ought to really just go for it really. Not just yet. Time to do a bit more thinking and enjoy some more cosy, midwinter days.


mother of purl said...

Happ new year! Well done for getting organised- I haven't even given the allotment a thought yet!

silverpebble said...

Happy New Year, Steph. What a wonderful post - your excitement at getting going on the new year's activities echoes mine. For me, though, it's getting to grips with a new craft. I think I've settled on one (willow weaving) and I bought my first two bundles this morning. I have to soak them for three days though - it's going to be hard to wait that long to get started!

Fleur Cotton said...

Happy New Year.

I cannot think about anything else until I have got a bunch of daffodils for my house now after reading your post. The perfect flower to bring some happiness into the house whatever the weather outside.xx Fleur

Suzanne said...

I am doing exactly the same here- thinking about the garden! Not that I have a large plot but there is plenty to do. I love the garden centres here in the Netherlands- they are so wonderful and have such great plants etc. A joy to just wander around them. And I am buying roadside tulips right now - no daffs in sight but then we are in Holland!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I had that poster when I had my first kitchen. Such memories.

Your reading pile and the daffy down dillies look lovely, I'm sure you'll enjoy it allo.

Anonymous said...

All, not allo!

Unknown said...

Happy new year to you. I am so with you on slow Springs, I get a real ache for warmth and green growth this time of year when the reality is that often the worst of the winter is to come. So reading and dreaming by the fire is the answer! Bx

June said...

Happy New Year! Love the eiderdown! I love daffodils too - being the flower emblem of Wales!

two bones and a bagle said...

Happy New Year to you and yours. I am cosied up at home today too. The eiderdown looks devine just right for snuggling.

Mac n' Janet said...

I loved the book The Morville Hours, it's a book that stays with you.
So Happy New Year and pleasant garden dreams.

Country Rabbit said...

oh wowza! such beautiful colour!! you make spring look like its almost here- yay!! ;0)...i do not have much land just a little court yard sunny space- but looking forward to veggies growing in pots and a few roses feels me with joy of sunny days pottering about out there. your books look quite iteresting- i must look them up.
The eiderdown looks like a summers afternoon- so joyful and pretty x
happy days steph, lovely blog!!

kazzy x

Carol said...

You are well organised! I love my gardening books, many favourites but, if you haven't yet read "The Well Tempered Garden" by Christopher Lloyd, I'd recommend it as a real treat.
I was a big Geoff Hamilton fan and Gardeners' World just hasn't been the same for me since he died. Haven't taken to any of the presenters who followed him. I've still got lots of videos of his old programmes and pulled a few out from under the stairs a couple of days ago. Perhaps I should play half an hour of each every Friday evening.
I love hellebore orientalis and have quite a lot in my garden, if you ever want any self-sets, let me know and I'll post you some.
Carol xx

bellaboo said...

Although Spring seems a long way off,it's nice to start planning and dreaming.You're sure to get some inspiration from those lovely books.
I always read Monty's section in the Mail's Weekend guide,he's grown on me too.(Oh dear,that sounds like a pun,but it wasn't meant to be!) :0)

bellaboo said...

...oh and Happy New Year,and I LOVE the eidy too! :0)

Pingere said...

Happy New Year, those are gorgeous daffodil photographs! Gardening isn't my strong point but I'll check out some of those books you have and try harder this year! Essie x

Jelly Jam said...

Oooh you've just reminded me about Monty! I've got a couple of his books and used to love his Real Gardens TV series years ago. In fact one of the gardeners he visited inspired my daughter's name.
Might just have to tune into Gardener's World now - love his voice!
PS nice eidy!

LandGirl1980 said...

A very happy new year to you! The fact that there are daffs in the shops - and indeed sprouting up all over the place - unnerves me slightly. I am still awaiting a very cold snap and snow!

Pipany said...

Happy New Year Steph. I agree about the daffs. Cornwall is full of them before Christmas but I only want them in the house once the decs are down, though I do find myself sniffing buckets of soleil d'or in desperation. Beautiful eiderdown x

Fi said...

It is thunder and lightning here in Oz today, just the day to snuggle into that lovely looking quilt in your photo,

Miss Izzy, the golden retriever is going a bit mental as she doesn't like storms too much.

Isn't it sheer delight to hole up with a pile of inspiring books or mags with a cup of something hot.

It was my country living mags yesterday.

Take your time to delve into the new year - a slow start, and a steady finish.


Sandi said...

Oh eiderdown how I love thee, takes me back to when I was a little girl at my grandma's.
x Sandi

Annie said...

You have some great books there. I love this month of garden planning, while the days are too short and dark to do much out of doors so there is no guilt in snuggling up indoors. Have fun thinking what to do come the spring :D

Justine said...

Hi Steph
Happy New Year to you and yours. That eiderdown looks so very very inviting!
Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for an award over on my blog. Don't worry if you're not the 'award' type, I won't be offended if you don't want to do anything with it!
All the best

Laura said...

Hi there, I read the Ivington Diaries over last Summer and loved it! It was a very easy read dealing with both his mental state and how that translated to the garden. It also passed on some tips, but most of all I just loved reading of the evolution of a garden over the year. It gave me a newfound appreciation of the garden through the seasons. Lx

Anonymous said...

Planning is half the fun though, especially under the cover of such a gorgeous duvet as yours! I'll swear the birds thought it was spring this morning!

purple-roses-country-cottage said...

Dear Steph, a new year (happy new year to you and your family :-)), new plans. That is a great pleasure!
I love to make plans for our little garden. The weather is so mild for January that we have some of the bushes already are in flower. Really too early. I hope it will not freeze to death. Hugs Nicole

Cait O'Connor said...

The Ivington diaries is a divine book, you will love it. I am a Monty don fan too, especially his writing.

Anonymous said...

Where can I find that duvet?