The Plotting Shed returns to the Plant Shelter once we put the garden to bed. The frosty mornings have stripped the ash trees of leaves which we literally hoovered up to make compost. The beds are bare, garlic is planted and only the leeks to show for our summer efforts. The rain and rabbits decimated, cauliflowers and purple sprouting broccoli.
The tulips are planted in tubs but the shrews and squirrel keep trying to dig them up.
Now the canopy of trees is bare, the fields beyond are revealed, where rabbits, moles, pheasants and rooks provide constant entertainment. For once there are no sheep in the near field with rainbow bottoms after tupping time.
Winter exposes the bare bones of our garden, the topiary shapes etched with frost, the evergreen bushes twinkle with ice so there’s plenty of greenery to assemble my Christmas door wreath but no holly, rosehips, rowan and hawthorn berries this year; a sign of a hard winter to come?
The bird feeders are busy with tits, greenfinches, our resident nut hatches and wood pecker. The rooks try to shake out the seeds and my family of little shrews dart out from the stone wall to catch the droppings along with robins, wrens, sparrows, pigeons and collar doves, all taking their fill.
We have a new visitor scavenging, a bedraggled fox troops past each morning in search of bits and stares at us through the window. He or she is not looking good. Winter can be so cruel for our animals.
When the snow comes our world becomes white with drifts and takes on a special beauty but it doesn’t last like it used to when we first came here and children still sledge down the steep slopes, snow men bedeck the village green. A cold spell is always welcome, killing off bugs, breaking up the soil and with it come golden sunsets and silvery mornings. Winter in the garden has its own special magic here.