Snow for the festive season! A white Christmas is something that has rarely happened during the time we have lived in the UK. And, to be honest, this dusting of snow arrived late on Boxing Day (the 26th), so technically not a white Christmas. The Gulf Stream tends to keep the British Isles relatively warm in spite of its high northern latitude – or so I am told by the weather boffins. The flip side to this is the ability to garden almost year round – something the British take very seriously.
But earlier in the month, we had a hard frost. It glistened on the herbs, but I was still able to nip out and cut off a sprig or two of thyme, rosemary, and (if I am lucky) one or two of the less resilient perennial herbs like sage or oregano. Very much UNLIKE the hard frozen earth hidden under a blanket of ice and snow for months and months that we had when living in the US Upper Midwest. Back then, my precious rosemary – a small spindly specimen – had to be brought into the house to overwinter. Now, in my English herb garden, the rosemary thrives so much that it has to be clipped ruthlessly every year to keep it from overshadowing other plants. It is a thug in the herb garden!
One of the benefits of frost, I recently learned was its effect on kiwis. This revelation occurred after seeing a post from Old Lands (described on their Facebook page as an “Old estate in Monmouthshire learning how to go slow. We want to make it a place that nurtures the environment & its inhabitants.”) I suspect it isn’t far from the concept of a commune, an alternative and attractive lifestyle so popular in my youth. Picking kiwis after the frost apparently softens the fruit. I still had a few hanging on the denuded branches. And, yes, they were, indeed, softened and ripe, just at the point that they could be eaten. I will need to keep this in mind in future and not simply let the kiwis rot.
And don’t the bare kiwi branches look good against the (rare) blue winter sky? Not so triffid-like at the moment, but biding their time in hibernation!
Meanwhile, we’re enjoying the recent snow. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!
Tasks to be done:
- Shake the heavy snow from the shrubby herbs (like the rosemary) so the branches do not bend or break.
- Continue to water and care for the pots of tender herbs brought inside before the frost/snow.
|Around My Edible Garden is my monthly diary entry detailing what is happening in my garden this past month, part of the Garden Share Collective (GSC), maintained by Lizzie@strayedtable (click on the “links in collection” icon below to view all participants). A chronological listing of my garden blog posts is listed Diaries in the Menu bar.|