Squelch, Squelch, Squelch!

Squelch, squelch, squelch and with each step in the garden water rises around my boots as if I needed confirmation that we have had a season of unusually heavy rain.

Winter garden (2)
My view at this moment as I write, a dull, dark and miserable day with heavy rain.

Gardening is out of the question at the moment. To attempt a run of the lawnmower would only lead to cutting up the sod and creating a mess in the present quagmire. Even if the grass is not high at present, a cut late as possible in the season would avoid facing a heavy crop next spring and would also lift the fallen leaves as it is not good to leave them lying on the lawns. A run at this time of year is a much less strenuous way to collect the leaves than by raking though raking has the benefit of being good exercise and exercise in winter is a welcome relief to the often weather-imposed stretches spent sitting indoors.

Winter garden (9)
A view from the top of the garden looking towards the river. The ground is saturated and the weather is wet and cold – winter!
Winter garden (8)
A typical November view: dark, raining, dull and miserable!

Gardening is good for us, one hears so very often nowadays. Recently, I have read that doctors are now prescribing gardening as a treatment for several mental illnesses – stress, anxiety, depression and the likes. Indeed, gardening and mental health have been trotted out so very often that the two have almost become synonymous but nothing could be further from the truth for few groups of people have such a positive outlook as do gardeners.

Winter garden (11)
Looking up the back garden: It is not encouraging at this time of the year but that will change!
Winter garden (10)
The gardener’s gym: It’s too wet to run the lawnmower so I will have to gather the fallen leaves with a rake. I’ll be fit as a fiddle!
Winter garden (12)
There’s plenty of work to be done!

There is a positivity in gardening which is not commonplace, a faith in the cycles of nature which defies immediate conditions and a sure and positive realisation that the miserable conditions of winter will surely pass and that spring will come again with bright skies, new growth and more pleasant days.

Winter garden (7)
A maple, even as the foliage dies, gives some brightness to a winter’s day
Winter garden (5)
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ is just coming into its season, flowering mid-winter. 
Winter garden (4)
The mahonias are wonderful winter shrubs – Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ 

We are presently approaching the shortest day of the year, a time when growth in the garden is at its lowest of the year, but we, nonetheless, have signs of the persistence of nature with a sprinkle of winter-flowering plants to remind us that these dark days will pass.

Galanthus elwesii monostictus 'Barnes' (1)
A snowdrop in flower at the moment to assure any doubting gardener that the cycle of growth and flowering continues despite such dreadful days as we have today. This is Galanthus ‘Barnes’
Galanthus 'Three Ships' (8)
Another pre-Christmas snowdrop and suitably named for its season of flowering: Galanthus ‘Three Ships’ 
Galanthus 'Castlegar' (13)
A snowdrop I look forward to each year and it should be in flower in two to three week’s time: Galanthus ‘Castlegar’



4 thoughts on “Squelch, Squelch, Squelch!

  1. Paddy re your reference to gardening and mental health. Point is that Gardeners have , on the whole, a positive attitude because they ARE Gardening!! IMO there is indeed a definite link between mental health , gardening and many other nature related occupations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Elizabeth, I expect there is certainly a strong link between gardening and well being. I can’t imagine it doing harm at any rate. However, I have tired of it being trotted out time and time again so that it is almost now an assumption that those who garden do so for the sake of their mental healthy.


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