The last Leaves to Fall
Hello, winter! My garden tells me that you have arrived. Most of my deciduous trees are winter-bare, with just a few lingering flashes of red from Berberis and Maples. The dahlias have succumbed to frost. The Wisteria leaves are making a yellow mess all over the patio...
The cats have noticed you. Minimus my cottage cat now snuggles underneath the crochet bed-cover in the evenings. The two Freds have discovered the house log burner, and stretch out in front of it after dinner.
My gardening feet have definitely noticed you. Outside, after an hour of plodding, they start to grumble. Just a little - the quietest of moans. In the house they're noisier, demanding slippers - apparently just wearing dry merino socks isn't good enough. And I am NOT allowed to wear my house slippers outside. Hmm... Check the selfie near the bottom of this page.
Too furry to notice...
My dogs? They are far too furry to notice. Both dogs love being outdoors in the rain and cold. Why can't we go for another walk? Heavy rain? Frost? Not our problem. Let's go outside in this wintry storm and chase our frisbees. What about 'throw the stick'? We could leap into the pond to retrieve the stick! The pond's not iced over, is it?
For a few weeks now I've been putting out bird food, but only the bigger blackbirds and thrushes have been eating. Today, sensing the first days of winter proper, a flock of wax-eyes (silver eyes) arrived to feast. My two young cats (the Freds) couldn't believe their 'luck'. They sat on the patio table, teeth and jaws chattering, whiskers twitching. Please, cats - no giant leaps!
Frost on Berberis Leaves
As a winter gardener I dress differently - over a base layer of merino goes something woolly (on top) and my Dr Livingstone shorts (on bottom, so to speak). Out comes my garden green hat, and my tough hiking boots for the winter feet - gumboots only if it's really wet.
Winter Gardener with Fred the Cat and Pebbles
And I don't tie back my hair. It's warmer for the gardening neck if the hair freely flows around it.
Mud, mud, glorious mud...
I change my clothes more often. Winter gardeners get muddy, more muddy, and then even more muddy. And it's not glorious at all. It's cold and gooey. Another thing which winter dogs don't care about. After all, mud dries and rubs off easily on the dog couch.
More time in-house...
Winter does mean more in-house, quasi-gardening time - like web-gardening, ogling at the colourful flowers in summer photographs, and writing rather intense lists (which I'll later ignore).
Of course there are many garden tasks to contemplate : burning the hedge trimmings, pruning the roses, raking up the leaves, mulching the new garden areas... But cold rain is lashing down, and the wind is biting. Hmm. Winter.