Midwinter has passed, and with it, the counting down of the days towards the light.
Visitors have now left and the cottage seems eerily quiet…somewhere in the stone walls I can hear a mouse scrambling about.
The cats are sleeping off their party food, including creamy custard from the sherry trifle, and are ensconced on top of the straw bales in the barn.
This was my first opportunity to get out into the gardens and observe the flow of the water through the ponds after all the heavy rain of recent days.
The weather has been very warm with heavy rain.
The temperature has stayed around and above 55F day and night.
Despite the midwinter, there remains plenty of colour in the gardens.
Dogwoods of red and lime green, willow and evergreens merge to make a colourful picture, especially in the winter.
The weather experts are fore-casting possible snow and hard frost after Christmas and before New Year.
The worst of the weather is yet to come, as so often is the case in December.
The warm weather has seen the continued growth of Fungi, one of the beautiful aspects of decaying wood.
I have watched the cost of food escalate this year, so am mindful that this is a good time to start preparing food-grow areas, such as raised beds.
The small potager beds here at Bealtaine continue to give food through these darks days of winter.
If you have not yet started a compost heap, then section off a corner of the garden for that too.
There’s masses of leaves still on the ground, so just bagging these up will give you precious leaf mould in the growing season!
I want to take this opportunity to say a huge “Thanks” to all of you who have posted cards, presents and donations over the past week.
I am overwhelmed by your love, kindness and generosity.
Bless you XXX