winter is coming

Summer this year, seemed to last way into October. We had two lots of friends stay with us over this month, and both times, we were able to sit out in the garden and soak up the sun, as well as eat outdoors. Even into November, it’s been mild – and we can evidence this by the fact that the log store, filled up about a month ago, is still full. However, a chill has now started to creep in. The summer duvet has finally been washed and put away until next year, replaced by a goose feather and down duvet. The underfloor heating has gone back on in the bathroom and kitchen. We’re lighting more candles, earlier, to get that gorgeous evening glow. And, the log baskets in the two living rooms have been filled, as we light the first fires of the season.

The garden furniture has now all been cleaned and packed away, wrapped up tightly in waterproof covers, until the spring. The garden has been cleared of leaves, all added to the compost pile. Terracotta pots, which aren’t being used, have been cleaned out and stored, to keep them free from the frosts, which we know will come soon. But this winter, even with things being stored away, the gardens at the front and rear of the house. are going be very different from previous years.

Previously, once winter has set in, the door would be closed and we wouldn’t really venture into the garden. We only had one, until recently, because the rear of the house was still un-renovated. But, after all of our work this year, we now have two beautiful gardens, both covered in white stones and both with plants which won’t drop over the winter – bay trees, olive trees and bamboos. So, we’re going to do things a little differently this winter. We’re going to enjoy the great outdoors – however cold it is!

Luckily, it’s not quite this cold, just yet. But when it is, we’re going to be prepared – and this weekend, we gave the new fire-bowl, its first run out. We bought it over the summer, imagining we’d be lighting it on chilly evenings. Fat chance of that, as most of the summer was so hot, the thought of a fire in the garden, was just ridiculous. So, we think it’ll come into its own over the winter. Now that the Well Room cupboard is also winter-ready, filled with warm coats, scarves, hats and boots and we have a big basket by the door, full of soft, furry throws, we think we might be well set up.

Camping chairs came out on Sunday afternoon, when the sun had disappeared from the rear garden and the fire lit. We spent a good two or three hours, in the garden, building up the fire – and very decadently, drinking home made Prosecco, given to us by our Italian neighbour. It just seemed right to christen the winter garden, with a bit of a fizz. We also chose a day when the sky was so clear, and so we could see the massive, almost-full moon, rise up behind the campanile in the village. It was really, really lovely to do this – and we will most definitely be getting out in the garden again, when we have crisp and sunny conditions.

Published on 28th November 2023