The January Garden

There was a countrywide storm on its way to us today, with predictions of driving rain and thirty mile an hour winds, so we had to quickly sneak some garden time before the gales blew in.

One pastime I love in the winter months, when flowers are in short supply, is to start looking for signs of new life as the garden begins to sense that spring is not so far away.

New shoots on the Buddleia

Sometimes it takes a little more searching, peering through giant leaves right down to root level.

Elephant Ear Plant

Then there are future projects to think about.  Our little daughter and youngest son had a playhouse as a shared Christmas gift, and I want to find some flower pots that will fit the tiny window boxes and then prune and cut back the plants around the house so that they feel scaled to size.  So far there are some tiny forget-me-nots by the porch, and I’ve raised the canopy on an old shrub to look like a real tree.  My mum has kindly volunteered to make curtains for the playhouse out of some leftover floral fabric.

Just as the storm approached, I managed to rearrange the stones in the riverbed.  It is a child-safe stream that they can paddle in and move the pebbles about to create damns and inlets … though it is good, every few days, to turn off the pump and move everything around so that it flows easily again.

Our plan will be to line these winding paths with hardy herbs, like lavender and thyme, so that when our two younger sons, who both have profound autism, run around the tracks and brush past them, they will act as a sensory garden when a lovely calming scent is released.

Finally to my beloved veg plot, which is hidden in a corner.  I’m able to take a cup of tea outside and work on the raised beds whilst keeping an eye on our five children playing.  The gate makes sure that our toddler daughter does not trip down the steps.

It is here, in the vegetable garden, where I found my most exciting new shoots for today – the garlic bulbs are beginning to sprout.

It will not be long now before I can barely keep up with all of the gardening, and it is good to enjoy the beautiful calm of these crisp, wintry days.

Now we are all happily back inside, munching on hot wholemeal toast and oranges, listening to the gale and watching the rain on the windows as the light fades.


  1. Lovely post, it’s been mild we have daffodil bulbs coming through too. Love your your garden and water feature. That play house is wonderful. I’m happy you managed to get out in your garden today. Here it’s been atrocious. Torrential rain โ˜”๐ŸŒง๏ธand very windy. It was so dark all day I had the living room lights on from 1pm.
    I’m itching to get back in the garden again.
    Loved all your photos. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much โ™ฅ๏ธ I think I can just about see some daffs poking through here too, and definitely the snowdrops are on their way. Is the weather looking up for you today? The children were very happy with todayโ€™s rain and sunshine – lots of rainbows to spot ๐ŸŒˆ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is dark and wet, but I am tempted to go and search to see if our garlic bulbs have sprouted… if I can find them in the flowerbed. The veg plot was closed down over a year ago and I have just started cutting the new one on our front garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of luck with your new veg plot! The good thing about veg is an empty patch in January can be an abundance by July ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ve been away from WordPress for a few years and only just started back last week – but if I remember rightly – I think you were the lady who grew stunning maple trees? ๐Ÿ


      1. Yes, I have an enduring fondness for maples. I no longer blog as the arrival of two surprise grandchildren (one in Chicago and one in London), family health issues, the garden and other commitments have taken over. I still drop in on blogs of old friends and ones that interest me. Congratulations on your daughter’s arrival. I am in awe that you manage a blog as well as a family and garden.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Congratulations on your little grandchildren – what lovely news!

          Itโ€™s so nice to be back in touch ๐Ÿ™‚

          I shall let you into a secret – with the blog I have to write when my children are fast asleep and then leave the posts scheduled so they post at a sensible hour of the day ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not a very good (or consistent) gardener, but here in Cornwall our rhubarb’s convinced it’s spring and is sending up shoots. And last summer’s spinach is still growing. And a frost–they say–is on its way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My rhubarb plant is hiding – itโ€™s pretty cold here in the East Mids … but weโ€™ve replanted it by the stream so it looks like a big aquatic plant when it (hopefully!๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป) springs up in April.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nancy ๐Ÿ™‚ You are so kind to leave comments on all the posts for us to find. The children love to read the replies to their adventures. Yes! I have little pots of snowdrops, due any day now, fingers crossed! ๐ŸŒฑ ๐ŸŒฑ

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ๐ŸŒฟ Weโ€™re planning to get a little light wired into the playhouse so that they can play in there in the evenings and so that it glows like a little Christmas decoration in winter ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I love your idea of the sensory garden. Oreganum and Pennyroyal are useful options too. Once Pennyroyal is well established you can even step on it – and it releases the smell – it’s nice and soft for bare feet too. Nice play house ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Martin – I have scribbled these down! The am always grateful for any help or suggestions – and itโ€™s an inspired thought about bare feet as my two little boys with autism do tend to remove shoes in the garden, whatever the weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish all children were lucky enough to have parents and a family like yours. I have read your posts back from likely the earliest in the three I saw so just got to this one. It is my dream here too on the other side of the pond to move to Arizona, where we will have land and can grow everything our hearts desire and I can have fruit trees, chickens and bees. The orchard bees are very gentle and will seldom bite unless your threaten them in some major way. I love all animals and we have five chihuahuas, one about 110 years old likely. We rescued him in a really bad rainy season last year when someone dumped him in our senior mobile home park (or you all would likely call them caravans). Anyway, we have drug people here in California and other states too, and likely it was one of them. No one in their right mind would do such a thing to a poor little fellow. He is partly deaf and going blind from cataracts, but we have taken very good care of him and his brother and sisters do as well. And if we go out for groceries or the doctors, when we come home, he literally leaps across the floor to get to husband first and to me too. You can see the little excitement in his eyes. They all sleep with us and we make sure they are all warm and safe between us. It is a joy I know to them and for sure to us too.

    So it is a true joy to read of your adventures and the wonderful things you do so thoughtfully for your children.

    Peace and joy, Anne always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Anne, with a lot of love and a bit of luck pets can live for a very long time. Our beloved pet chinchilla (there is a post with his photo in the โ€œPotager gardenโ€ section of the site) lived to be 20 ๐Ÿ™‚ You lovely little dog may be with you for a very long time yet xx


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