Last week when I woke up early Monday morning there was that odd eerie light when you know there’s fog or snow outside…I opened the curtains so slowly with my eyes squeezed shut and hoped…please please please….and all my wishes were granted. During the night we’d had a soft fall of snow, nothing crazy that would upset the traffic or be a hazard, just enough to made my heart skip and paint the garden and neighbours rooftops white…..
I quickly bundled myself up in fat cardigans and my yellow shawl (it’s never very far away, being worn in bed as I read before lights out, and wrapped round me while I wait for the heating to come on in the morning) and stepped out into the garden….snow light is the weirdest, early monings look more like twilight, it’s very jarring to the senses and I feel like I’m the only one in the world awake….I made sure the feeders were all topped up with food, brushed snow off the bird bath and broke the ice that was underneath before quickly hurrying back indoors as I heard the kettle start to whistle (it’s getting on a bit now so it’s once tuneful song has now become a right old caterwaul.)
Once I’ve had a hot drink and feel a bit more wakey, and have put a decent amount of clothes on I venture out again, I love poking about in the garden, seeing what the frost has done to any plants that are still lingering on from before Christmas such as the little pots of sweet peas on the potting up table……an old champagne box which we use to grow salads has become home to a whole load of weeds which look beautiful, gorgeous greens and a burgundy claret…not a combination I’d think to put together but which looks stunning this snowy morning.
Most of our Winter greens didn’t do so well, you may recall me saying in the Autumn how the kittens next door had played havoc with a lot of the vegetables, even though we staked out plants and put up lots of little fences so it was like Fort Knox or Colditz in the raised beds, they still wriggled under, tearing the fleece which was protecting the greens…..and then the pigeons swooped in…so we’ve had some cavalo nero but the broccoli has all been eaten. The best broccoli we’ve grown was some I’d bought as seedlings from an old boy at a car boot, the plants were pence each and grew huge, the broccoli kept us going for 3 or 4 months and was so abundant, finally they flowered and became a tad stinky but the butterlies and bees really flocked around their tiny yellow blossoms.
Just round the corner from where we live is a patch of green which is home to some pretty little crab apple trees which I’ve shared pictures of before. I’m not sure when this bird house went up but I’ve really only now noticed it being here…it looked so pretty amongst the snow and I thought it was like a wee house you read about in a fairy tale…..I half expected someone tiny to peep their head out with arms crossed or wings all a flutter and ask me what I was about….
Up close the apple trees are all lichen covered, roves and scabbiness….which feel wonderful to touch though my mittens were off for only the briefest of moments…too cold today for bare hands.
I love the mix of textures and colours, sage and silvers, deep mistletoe and bright green with all the sparling white of the snow….melting almost in front of my eyes….it felt so bitter cold but it was still too mild for the snow to stay around.
Today though the weather couldn’t be more different, we’ve walked down to the shop and I didn’t even need to wear a coat (though I had my shawl cuddled around my shoulders…it felt lovely not being all bundled up in big mittens and Winter coats, patches of green all blooming with smudges of primrse pastels, crocus, snowdrop speckles all snow white fresh, the brightest yellow and egg yolk orange daffodills…the air smelling so fresh and clean and the sunshine so full of Springtime promises.