Six on Saturday | Midwinter

A quick one this week as there is nothing of great interest to show from my own garden. It has been too wet and far too windy to do any further maintenance, and to be honest recently I have had a feeling of general apathy. Perhaps not unexpected at this time of year combined with all the hoo-ha over the B word and the election. Hopefully things will calm down now and we will all have a chance to let things settle.

Personally I cannot wait for…

(no not Christmas, I am not a Christmas person though it is a good time to take stock and think of others. We don’t bother with decorations or a tree or even cards, preferring instead to donate to a couple of the many deserving charities who provide shelter and a meal and a chance for a clean-up and health check-up for the homeless at this time of the year. On Tuesday the cashier in the supermarket asked me if I’d finished my Christmas shopping. She was rather taken aback when I replied that we don’t really bother with Christmas, preferring to have a quiet day at home on our own. Surely we can’t be the only ones who feel this way?)

Anyway, what I am looking forward to is Monday! I am happy that it is the winter solstice tomorrow (22nd December) which marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year for all us inhabitants of the northern hemisphere. So on Monday daylight begins to increase again, minute by minute, day by day and I am sooooo glad.

For my final week of the year here is a collage of some of the lovely Hydrangeas at Trebah Gardens (click on the link to see this lovely garden in the summer when the hydrangeas were in full bloom), which we visited a couple of weeks ago on a dry day with even a glimmer of sunlight. Rare in these parts! Hydrangeas give pleasure for months even though many are now in their winter state with the dried out mop-heads left on to protect any new shoots from frost. Surprisingly several in this garden still had plenty of colour. They are probably quite sheltered in the valley whereas my poor blooms were torn to shreds in the many storms that we have experienced already. Living on the top of a hill does have its issues though flooding is not one of them.

In spring all these plants will be hand pruned so they can begin their new growth. Now that’s a job I don’t envy.

Please click on the image to enlarge

In the meantime  bulbs are beginning to peek through in the pots already so there are at least signs of good things to come. And for those of you who do like to celebrate this time of year  I wish you a happy, joyful and peaceful time.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world including lovely flowers from the southern hemisphere!

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    That’s a charming photo of the bridge and its reflection. I’m with you on Christmas although we still exchange a gift and have a meal together, but it’s pretty low key. This year our children might not be able to join us as the road up from Sydney is closed due to the ‘megafire’. I wish you some sunny days for Christmas!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The OH and I still exchange gifts though mostly practical ones. Our children live too far away to visit at this time of year, though thankfully fires are not the issue. I really hope we do get some dry days. All this rain and wind does wear you down, though I know you would love some of this wet weather.

  2. BeckyB says:

    Gorgeous photos, and yay to more light from tomorrow!!

    Ours is going to be a quiet’ish’ Christmas, although I am now potentially cooking for friends who have been ill and had to cancel their Christmas with their orphaned grandchildren. As you say it is a good time to be kind. Enjoy your day of quietness. Sounds like bliss xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      That’s a lovely gesture. I used to enjoy all the cooking and baking when my kids were young, but it’s a lot of work. Enjoy your day too 😊

  3. beetleypete says:

    I feel the same way as you about Christmas. Unfortunately, nobody else around me seems to agree. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Blame the Victorians, they started all these ‘traditions’ which have nothing to do with the religious aspect nor the pagan festival. All this hoo-ha for one day is quite insane!

      1. beetleypete says:

        The stress in our house over the past week had to be seen to be believed. It’s completely ridiculous.

        1. Heyjude says:

          And not healthy.

        2. beetleypete says:

          Certainly not for me, that’s for sure.

        3. Heyjude says:

          Take care of yourself Pete. Surely you can all come to a happy compromise? Or take yourself away to a retreat next year!!

  4. Klausbernd says:

    Dear Jude,
    although you are not a Christmas person we wish you a great Holiday Season. Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma love Christmas because of all the presents they will get. They are already over-excited.
    We want to say thank you very much for visiting our blog regularly and commenting our posts 🙂 🙂 GREAT!
    Have a happy and healthy New Year
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. susurrus says:

    Happy Winter Solstice. I hope you’ll have a nice, relaxing time. My sweetheart and I are much of the same mind as you and lighter evenings will be very welcome. We have a garland of paper lights, like trumpet lilies, over the mantlepiece and a small silver tree made of sticks, both from a few years ago. It wouldn’t do for everyone, but it works for us. Christmas is important to Mum, and we did have fun putting up her tree for her last night, but even she has announced it’s OK to scale back on the present giving this year.

    I have never mastered pruning hydrangeas and even managed to kill mine a few years ago, but I love seeing them.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Your decorations sound very tasteful. I recall your lovely natural ornaments last year. 🎉

  6. Elizabeth says:

    We had to turn down invitations to “not be alone,” by repeating that we look forward to a very quiet day together. We are going to the last Mass at 5pm on Christmas Day itself, very quiet, contemplative and underattended. Just our cup of teac.

  7. Chloris says:

    Always a treat to have a glimpse of Trebah. And yes, we’ve turned the corner, it’s getting lighter from now on.

  8. I don’t ‘do’ Christmas at all, which utterly shocks colleagues, who look at me with pity — yet they’re the ones who moan about the cost, the stress, the cooking, the cleaning, the crying children, the family tensions, etc. I think they should direct their pity to themselves! I hope your longer days bring sunshine too, though I’m sad that ours will now be shortening. I’d be happy to forego sunshine for rain if it would stop these fires. 😦

    1. Heyjude says:

      At least in your country families can get outdoors, here we can be cooped up for days! I found Christmas in SA was much more relaxed. Have a lovely quiet day on Wednesday and I hope you soon get the rain that’s needed. 🎁

      1. You make an excellent point re the weather! Enjoy your Christmas Day, however you spend it.

  9. I always like seeing the hydrangeas at the end of the season. They look almost as pretty as when they first bloom. Have a relaxing and peaceful day on Wednesday.

  10. n20gardener says:

    Beautiful hydrangea. I am also very excited about the lengthening days. I have come to appreciate that my winter dormancy needs to end earlier than my usual march april re-emergence. We have seed sowing to look forward to and the bulbs are beginning. Enjoy your peaceful day.

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