This has nothing to with gardening - only blogging.
The sheep are in the field in front of the house and now we are in the dark mornings after Christmas everything seems rather monochrome.
However there is a big flower bud on the Fatsia, the last roses of summer are still flowering, grasses such as Miscanthus have taken on a warm brown colour and bulbs are beginning to push through the soil - daffodils and snowdrops, the latter especially. The image shows the first snowdrops flowering by the Wendy House path at the end of last January.
Now a new year is coming and surprises - 'I had forgotten I planted that!' - self-sown seedlings - especially aquilegias and opium poppies.
The birds are singing too - twittering long-tailed tits, a robin in the ash nearest the house, great tits and collared doves, the coo-ee of the goldfinches t They know something is afoot.
The paths need re chipping, the compost turning, dead growth removing, overgrown plants thinning, cuttings tended, and the garden needs walking - each time new ideas, things to be done come forth, wood fallen of the trees collected and added to the bonfire that never burned - too sodden.
Can I face the disaster of the veg this year with the incessant rain - can I find a way round it - the beds to be raised more, domed to aid water run off, be more selective in choice of veg - and will the asparagus have survived all this water?
It is time to be positive!!
So I shall light the wood burner, get a mug of something hot and contemplate all that I have just said and bury myself for the last few moments of this year.
Then . . . . .