Gardening Magazine

A Frosty Pause

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

After my last doleful post, winter got her act together.

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For a couple of days last week the rain stopped, the skies cleared, temperatures plummeted, mud froze,

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and, at long last, it was shiveringly cold.

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Not on a Siberian or Alaskan scale but at -5°C, Sussex was cold.

A Frosty Pause
Female pheasant
A Frosty Pause
Coal tit
A Frosty Pause
Great tit
A Frosty Pause
Nuthatch

My first chore on arriving at work is to feed the Priory’s voracious guests.   (Pheasant don’t have an invite but loiter under the feeders nevertheless).

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My second is to make a pre-work cup of tea.

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Backlit by the rising sun, Priory Garden HQ is a warm, inviting lure on a frosty morning and, as I approached, I heard a rousing, angelic choir … if only, perhaps, in my head.   I filled the kettle and nestled on the electric heater like a fat, broody hen.

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As the kettle rumbled to life, I studied ice patterns on the glass

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before the rising sun rubbed them away.

My mini ice-age didn’t last long and warm rain has settled in once more … but it was nice whilst it lasted.  I’d still like some snow-fall to smother the Priory in white again.  We haven’t had a decent amount of snow since 2013 and I rather miss it.

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January 2013

Not everyone shares my love of ice and snow but I like living in a country with four distinct seasons; and, when they are not, it unsettles me.

On the home front, we finally moved into an C18th cottage a few days ago.  Jim and I wander amongst towers of boxes and through unfamiliar rooms with unfamiliar quirks; open windows which we can’t then close; tussle with swollen doors; hear odd noises; worry over odd smells; hunt down draughts; anxiously install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors; sadly shake our heads over tragic 1970’s ‘improvements’; recoil at bizarre decorating decisions; wrestle with an uppity wood-burner (who needs to knuckle down sharpish if she wants to avoid an early Ebay listing); gaze at an intimidating, overgrown, very steeply, terraced garden; and fall asleep beneath a red tractor and giant, garish flowers (painted, badly, on our bedroom wall).

With this large renovation job, you’ll understand if I relegate blogging somewhat.  I shall still post occasionally but plastering, painting and eradicating odd smells aside, we have a garden to make.


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