The Garden in Early Winter 2017


The astronomical start of winter is on December 21st the winter solstice that marks the shortest day. Janus, the Roman God of beginnings was chosen to give his name to the first month of the year. He is known as the God of Gates and Doors. He has two faces, regarding what is behind and what lies ahead.

It has been a successful year in the garden. The number of volunteers has increased. Two of the overgrown derelict beds have been replanted and the rose, mulberry and vegetable gardens have flourished. The flowering plants in tubs and containers on the terrace have been spectacular and all the events in the garden have been in fine weather.

Tree .web

Now as the weather turns cold it is good to look back, as the hard work of ‘putting the garden to bed’ is under way. The dahlias have been lifted and their tubers washed. The bananas have had their stems sawn off to ground level. A few of the salvias too big to lift, have been mulched with straw. The same straw that only a few weeks ago was home to the pumpkins. The colourful leaves on the trees that gave so much pleasure in the autumn, have now fallen and clearing them will continue to be hard work for weeks. The vegetable garden looks forlorn and covered with weeds.

There is much to enjoy in Reveley garden during the darker months. The bronze leaves of the Cryptomeria seen through low winter light, the colourful branches of Tilia ‘Winter Orange’ and the stems and trunks of shrubs and trees in the bark and berry bed. There is the architectural outline of bare trees against the sky and on the ground the tips of snowdrops are showing through. The reseeded main lawn is looking verdant.

For gardeners, winter is really the beginning of the garden year when all the preparation and plans lie ahead. But we will all have to wait for Rory and Liz Ramsden to tell us what they are.

© Reveley Lodge Trust 2019, which is a company limited by guarantee (England 4772191) and a registered charity (1099935).