Gardening Magazine

A Frosty Pause

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

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


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


and, at long last, it was shiveringly cold.


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

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).


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


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.


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


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.


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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