Margaret's Garden Journal for December 2002

I hardly saw my garden this month. When I left for a week in Cyprus on the 7th it had changed very little since the middle of November when the last leaves had fallen from the deciduous trees.

I am told I missed some bad weather while away but when I rushed out, at first rainy light on the 15th, (despite having arrived home only five hours earlier) to cut juniper, holly and ivy in preparation for Christmas, nothing much seemed to have happened in my absence.

The following plants were still in flower

My daughter and son-in-law brought round my Christmas tree mid-morning and the four grandchildren helped me decorate. The rest of the week I spent the cold, wet weather in a whirl of Christmas preparations only looking at the garden when picking vegetables (brussels, leeks, Romanesco and cauliflower )

Christmas Eve produced a mild, sunny day. After picking the vegetables for Christmas dinner I abandoned housework, took my brunch down to the seat by the pond and relaxed on a cushion. The low sunlight glistened on the leaves of the beauty pine and the burnished scales shrink wrapping spring's catkins.I even felt mellow to the squirrels carrying off my bulbs a few inches away from my feet.

Then I went over to my daughters at Shangton about 12 miles South and stayed there until the 27th.

On 28th I flew over to Ireland and am due to return on 7th January. The only gardening I have done here in Ireland is to plant a Garrya Elliptica "James Roof" to hide a bald spot by my son's fence. At least the weather is warmer over here. The TV is showing floods and snow back in England.

Margaret sitting in the sunny seat, Ballyine Here I am reading outside in my dressing gown in my son's favourite morning sun spot

I was intending to photo my son's garden while over here to do another guest garden but my camera has died on me and I am having to save up to get another.