Winter Whine Countdown
This was Campanula's (very possibly joking) suggestion, and I think it has merit. Today is Epiphany, which Italians say carries away the holidays--"Epifania, tutte le feste le porta via"--and after this we have only the blank desolation of January, and February, which we have somehow to get through.
Actually, if I were as gloom-ridden now as I was a couple of days ago, I don't know if I'd dare start such a thread. But yesterday the rain let up, it wasn't foggy or too cold, and I was able to get out in the shade garden and do a bit of pruning, and this cheered me up. It's not getting needed work done, though that's satisfying, but simply getting my hands on plants and earth.
As far as the plants are concerned, rather than people, the weather has been pretty good. Temperatures in the thirties and forties, good recent rains after a dry December: no freezes, no storms, no drought, no unseasonably balmy temperatures. We did have a wet fall (after last year's wet winter and spring), and are back to wondering/worrying about slides. Our neighbors' field below ours in the newest section of the big garden is slumping and looks vulnerable. We're not TOO worried about our own land, but the matter is, let's say, interesting.
Our bedrooms are unheated and we sleep with the windows open, and often I take a hot water bottle to bed with me, or, if I forget to heat the water, with a hot brick wrapped in a cloth. And yes, Suzy, my housewear is two layers of long Johns and as many tops as I need to keep warm, and yes, I wear them to bed. We heat the ground floor with a wood stove, which also serves to dry clothes, heat water, and at times do some cooking.
The hybrid mahonias and hellebores are flowering now, earlier than usual. We've had little frost this year, though plenty of chill hours. People tell me that the buds on trees and shrubs are too far advanced for the season. As far as my physiological clock is concerned, I'll feel the days getting longer around the end of January or beginning of February, in three or four weeks. I start to feel like spring is getting going around the end of February when the first violets bloom, but we do have a full winter here and winter weather continues until the equinox.