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Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.

“Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.” Terri Guillemets

Well the weather is more wintery now and days are shorter, but we can’t be lazy as there is still plenty to do. Christmas is coming and everyone seems busy. So we haven’t been spending as much time in the garden as perhaps we should. But it will have to wait till new year.

It has been getting colder and we’ve had a few frosts. Did you know that there are three types of frosts? Hoar frost, probably the most common, that occurs when the weather is calm. Advection frost, that is formed by cold winds as spikes on the edge of plants and objects and that points in the direction of the wind. Finally there’s window frost, also known as fern frost or ice flowers, that swirls on windows. It’s caused by the difference in temperature between inside and outside, helped by imperfections in the glass.

We had a stall at Unlock Runcorn’s Winterfest on the 7th. We had succulent plants in an interesting variety of pots, cups, glasses and bottles. Along with bags we’d made from our Runcorn lavender. The lavender bags were made from fabric that had been donated. And we’d also made soothing lavender and oat tea bags for use in the bath. There are still some available in the Studio if you need some stocking fillers. Any money raised goes towards the upkeep of the garden.

The 1st Dec was the start of the meteorological winter and the first Sunday of Advent. Does anyone else remember the advent mobile made out of metal coat hangers that Blue Peter used to make each year? Well that’s something we didn’t make to decorate the garden. Walnut mice, decorated branches, elf shoes and an assortment of Christmassy objects were what we used for our decorating session on the 8th. We warmed up in the Studio afterwards by having a bit of a BBQ party. We were really lucky to have sunny weather for our BBQ.chef.

If you have kids, or are just a child at heart, don’t forget to write your letter to Santa. The local Rotarians are putting a post box to Santa in the garden. So get your letter posted soon to get a reply before Xmas.

There are golden leaves all along the sides of the garden. The colours look lovely. And they make great homes for small creatures in the garden. But as they can get a bit slippery, we need to clear some. So if you find yourself with some free time this month, take along a rake and put collected leaves in the potato bin at the end of the garden. They will be great for our containers as mulch, keeping plants warm over the winter.

I have been popping in to the garden each week to check on the growing veg. The kale, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, parsnips, swedes, leeks, onions, garlic and winter lettuce. I’ve put some of the leeks into tubes to try and whiten the stems. The tubes were plastic pipes that we had scavenged. I’m still amazed that lettuce can survive in the winter. But I assume that they are called ‘winter lettuce’ for a reason….

Someone has been leaving little gifts around the garden. Does anyone know who? Santa perhaps?

The Blooming Old Gardener

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