You Know It's Winter When...

A very chilly Stourhead, yesterday morning

You know it's winter when...
  1. The TV and radio are full of talk about the state of betting on whether there'll be a white Christmas this year
  2. There's the lightest dusting of snow and the traffic is in chaos (yes I know there's much worse around at the moment, but you know we're not truly geared up for it like our continental and north American cousins are)
  3. The local garden centre brings in a couple of real reindeer for its Santa grotto
  4. Singing Christmas carols outdoors with a windchill factor all day really brings home the meaning of Winter Wonderland and the Field Mice's Carol (see photo for where we were yesterday)
  5. It might be the shortest day of the year, but search very carefully in the garden and the first tiny shoots of next year's daffodils can just be seen :)
  6. You can't get the lid off the compost bin because it's frozen solid
  7. You're still behind with all your gardening jobs
  8. However, garden reality is rapidly being replaced by dreams of garden and allotment perfection next year
  9. You're not at all worried by any garden pests and diseases
  10. You're giving everyone a jar of pickles, chutney or jam for Christmas because you realise you can't eat it all before next year's preserving marathon commences
  11. You're really pleased with the free Christmas wreath/ garland/decorations (select which ones apply) you've made from garden trimmings
  12. Jack Frost is leaving the loveliest of patterns all over the garden, windows and your car (see Threadspider's recent post for an example)
  13. You're awake half the night because there's a robin singing on the lamppost nearest the house
  14. The cats are on permanent central heating duty
  15. The ground is too wet (or frozen) to dig - the rest of the autumn digging will have to wait until the spring
  16. You're proudly displaying the Cyclamen you've brought back to life for the 15th year (add the year number of your choice and replace Cyclamen with whatever traditional flowering Christmas present you're still managing to revive)
  17. You're happy to be out planting garlic - doing anything gardeny or growy at this time of the year is a bonus
  18. You realise you've forgotten to protect your tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica) for the winter (substitute frost tender plant of your choice)
  19. You haven't seen your neighbours for weeks
  20. You love curling up with your favourite garden books and loads of seed catalogues
  21. What else can you add to the list?


  1. ... your spouse wants to have sex (it's the only way to get warm)

  2. There's more than enough on your list without adding to it! Flighty xx

  3. You realise that your hyacinths will not bloom in time for Christmas - they are still in their packet. Great list VP :)

  4. It stops raining and the sun comes out.

    Great list VP - I will be back with my proper additions later.

  5. How about... "when British Rail complain about the wrong type of snow"? Or are they feeling upstaged by Eurostar this year?

    Stourhead's a lovely place, my wife did a painting of it. You can see it at "Stourhead Majestic Trees" on her site if you're interested.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Oh lord, I've forgotten to wrap my banana up. It's dark now, so fingers crossed it will be OK tomorrow when I can shroud it in fleece or bubble wrap.

  7. I can't think of anything you've missed right now. Great list. My cats are complaining about Christmas so I suppose they'll be happy after this week is over... They DO make wonderful heaters!

  8. A fantastic blogger from Chippenham writes funny posts about winter and christmas.

  9. You dare get a new jigsaw puzzle out because this is the only time of year it is safe to do so. (Why is it so difficult to walk past a puzzle that is sitting temptingly on the table and impossible to get up from the chair once you stop to put in "just three pieces" )

  10. You thought you had triumphantly finished planting tulips before the end of December and turn some up in your shed in a Tesco bag with no label and yet still alluringly firm and clearly desiring to grow.
    And the log basket needs filling yet again.

  11. You've buried all the "I will get these into the ground this fall purchases" in the leaf pile until the soil is dry enough to plant. gail

    A good list, VP!

  12. Your list brought a smile, VP, thanks! I do hope your voice can hold up to all the singing you have yet to warble! The garden is coming alive here very rapidly, with bulbs all over poking up and the entire 2009 garden is still standing! Very difficult to cut stuff down without hurting those bulb tips, yikes!


  13. Great list VP!
    I've just been catching up -again! My computer seems to have a bit of a thing about your blog and still won't always load it properly. I'm sure it's a problem at this end, so Himself is going to have a look at it when he's off next week - but don't think I've forgotten about you ...I just can't always get to read you! ;)

  14. You didn't leave much out for us to add too.
    Happy Christmas.

  15. So nice to realise I'm not alone in all of these. Merry Christmas VP.

  16. Nothing to add to your list, VP - I am still worried about garden pests though, as I brought my parsley in out of the cold a couple of weeks ago and since then we've found a host of tiny flies around the kitchen window-frame and a couple of huge caterpillars wandering around the lounge - oops. And there was a rat on our patio yesterday - cute though it was, I'm hoping it was just visiting because of the icy weather and not planning on taking up permanent residence!

    Happy Christmas!

  17. Thanks for all your contributions everyone - even you Soilman! ;)


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