Peas, Beans, Dahlias, Roses and more
Little treasures of hope for mid winter
Over the past few days when the weather allows and the mood is willing, I have been digging up my dahlias. It is not something I normally do, usually I leave the tubers in the ground and for better or worse, garden life goes on. This year I decided to dig up the bulk of them, mainly to move them to new spots in the garden. The ones that have been in the garden for a few years are huge, great big masses of knotty tubers. As I was digging, what I found most amazing are the dahlias that I grew from seed. I’m amazed that something so small as a dahlia seed can become something so big and solid in such a short space of time, producing beauty along the way. My tubers are now tucked away for the winter and recently collected dahlia seeds are in packets waiting for warmer days and I have a new admiration for dahlias growers who do this hard and valued work all the time.
“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future, the place of caught breath”
Mary Atwood via Botanical Tales newsletter.
It is starting to become too cold to garden after so many frost. The soil bites my skin when I try to weed. I do what I need to and leave the gardening until things get warmer. We pass a milestone this week, the shortest day. I know the light will only start increasing by a millisecond each day but those extra seconds of light are cherished and so needed. They add value to my day. It all fits in with a conversation I had with a florist Julie the Scot who is currently warming her soul in summer surrounded by many gorgeous blooms. She commented on how, she is just now, starting to feel alive after the winter & spring months. I agreed that I too feel more alive in summer. Right now I’m hunger for the warmer months. Thinking about this more, I realise I am kinda like a bee, hiding indoors in the warmth, returning outside if it is warm enough and waiting for the sun to come back to prompt activity. I remember checking a hive in the winter months for some reason. The hive, normally a vibrant space of activity was filled with slow moving lethargic bees. To be honest I found it all rather upsetting until I remember they slow down over winter and I realise that I am the doing the same.
Rogue broad beans are currently flowering in a patch in the garden. They seem to return each year, taking claim to the garden like all good self seeders do, moving a little to the left or right from where they past grew just to keep things interesting. Occasionally if it is warm, and it has been a fairly warm winter so far, a bumble can be seen hunting out the bean flowers and the nectar inside. Seeing this reminds me that there are a number of veg plants that are great bee friendly plants. Things such as peas and beans along with courgette and artichoke, all providing a variety of bee friendly blooms. Other plants are less obvious, such as broccoli, which if left to flower offer a lot for pollinators. I grow garlic (I must plant my bulbs brought months ago), leaving them to go to seed as anything in the allium family is a fave with the bees. So if you are planning a veg patch this year add a few extra things that you can happily to share with your pollinators.
And finally, the roses are still going. Often a few are still flowering come June but of late, they seem to have had a sudden flurry and I must admit I am so grateful. So while the hellebores are starting to awaken and the odd snowdrop is starting to appear, my mind and camera have been kept busy admiring the roses.