Chronicle December 2013 | Chronicle February 2014

PICTURE

January 2014

Greetings to all readers of these chronicles and followers of what's happening in our little garden. Today’s date is 6 January. It's with excitement that I look forward to what 2014 has to offer. What would life be without expectations and excitement?

A very strange thing at the moment is that normally we have masses of snow in the garden at this time of the year – snow, ice and cold – but this year is exceptional. Everywhere, brown is giving way to green and signs of spring are beginning to emerge. It really doesn’t have the usual feel of a winter month in Sweden. But all I can say is ’carpe diem’ Seize the day! Opportunities present themselves, we live on hope, we live with expectations. At the moment I'm sitting and browsing through gardening catalogues and seed catalogues, seeing what opportunities present themselves, deciding on planting plans for the year. This includes making sketches showing what and where I'm going to plant. I’m also making good use of the time  and the opportunity presented by the weather  to rinse plant pots and tidy up around the garden. That way, there’re be more time left over in the spring, when things really get under way and there’s so much to do!

I’ve more or less decided on the what and the where, as far as planting is concerned; still, I know that when the season gets going, my hands will be full with so many things to do that plans aren't always realised. At the moment, though, there’s hardly anything to do in the garden itself, so why not indulge in the luxury of pondering, planning and dreaming?  

What would life be without dreams? To be sure, sometimes they’re shattered suddenly or crushed slowly (as many have probably experienced at one time or another), but gardening dreams can be realised with your own hands, in your own soil, to your own wishes. I personally feel a very strong connection to the garden. For example, when I plant bulbs in the autumn, I give each of them a little kiss. Crazy (maybe stupid) but true nevertheless. A kiss to every bulb and every plant destined to go down in the dark earth. They deserve love, and give so much pleasure in return.

I've never experienced weather like this during the 18 so years we've been living here in Tumba. Things are so green, and all around buds are in profusion. I've even started giving fertiliser – at the beginning of January! Normally, I sprinkle fertiliser on the snow as it starts to melt – sometime in March or April – so that the melting snow carries the fertiliser down with it into the soil. We’ll see what happens...

I feel humble when confronted with nature. Strange though it sounds, but I almost have a tear in my eye when I think of what I just written. But the truth is that the garden gives me so very much. A large garden isn't necessary, a small one is sufficient – even an apartment balcony will do. Growth, the growth force in plants, is a source of strength; gardens are source of expectation and inspiration. I think the words of the English poet William Blake:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

A Happy New Year to you all visitors to A Gentleman’s Garden’s website. I hope you enjoy your visits to our virtual garden, courtesy of our photographer Solveig. I look forward to meeting in person those of you who have the possibility to visit the real garden on those days when we are open to the public during the course of the year, from the end of April through to August. A warm welcome to you all.

Stefan

A Gentleman Gardener