"Living seasonally" seems to be a bit of a thing these days, albeit somewhat hard to translate into an Australian lifestyle. Australian seasons tend to blur into one very long hot summer and a mild, miscellaneous season of spring-like weather but, in the southern tablelands, winter is very real indeed. Living seasonally on our little mountainside is somewhat inevitable and, to me, it is all kinds of wonderful!
Whilst we don't get the deep, months-long freeze that marks winter in some parts of the world, we do get much colder weather than the rest of Australia. We've had several deep frosts so far this winter and hibernation is in full swing. Unlike summer, where the chores seem endless and the days are loooonnnnnggg and busy and the water tanks run dry and the bushfires threaten and the snakes are every whichway and it is so flippin hot all the time and URRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
Ahhhh, winter. She slows everything way way down and is naturally much more simple. The days are short and the mornings are too cold to achieve much of anything. We write far fewer "to-dos" and the pressure to get through them is much less. Our weekends suddenly feel restful, rather than a 48-hour block of hard labouring. The garden also slows right down - very little maintenance required - but it is the nicest time of the year to be outside for the warm hours in the middle of a crisp sunny day. Gardening becomes a lovely pleasure again, instead of a frustrating battle against the elements. I slowly rebuild my much-waning enthusiasm and have the space to daydream about things I'd like to do in the garden when spring rolls around. Winter, a proper winter, is so restorative and I absolutely adore it... -10°C and all!
Our winter days revolve around the fireplace: collecting firewood from where we have left it dotted around the property to weather over the summer, collecting kindling on a walk with the pup, setting the fire in the way that I was taught when I was a little girl. And then playing with the kids in front of the fire, drying the washing in front of the fire, knitting or reading in front of the fire... The fireplace truly is the heart (or hearth ;) of our home for the three or four months of winter.
There's not a lot in bloom in the garden at the moment, unsurprisingly. But there is just enough colour to brighten up the gloomiest days, or make a little posy for the kitchen bench. Most of our camellias are taking their time to flower this year, but the deepest red one out the back is looking lovely.
Hebes are still proving to be one of my absolute favourites for the fluffy flowers they just keep giving.
The first of the daphne is just starting to give off its Fruit Loop-y smell. Sprigs of daphne will be dotted around the house for the rest of winter so that their scent can cheer up my winter-hating hubby.
Our polygala bushes (the ones that survived that is) are still producing flowers like crazy - they are so much more frost-hardy that I realised!
And the iceberg rose, she who I once maligned and now love completely, still has a few perfect blooms. It is just about to finally finish for the year I think, but I am loving each and every flower that has clung on.
Other than that, all is bare and quiet in the garden and I love it. What's going on around your patch this winter?