It’s the dead time of year. There is no snow, only rain. No sun, only rain, and the light failing. The garden lies brown and stunned by water.P1010442

Dormancy is a fact for plants. It is a state of mind for gardeners. I do nothing. I had plans, but there is no light, and the ground is waterlogged. Instead, I contemplate the resting buds of my primula maximowiczii which I have brought in under cover to save them from the lethal damp. Among the wreckage of last summer’s foliage, the germ of the year’s growth lies, waiting for the light to strengthen enough to flip the chemical switch to ‘grow’.  In about twelve weeks it will be in flower.P1010441 Like the primula, I wait.

Five thousand years ago, people also thought about these things – the dead time of year and the dormancy. When they constructed the great stone tomb of Maes Howe in Orkney, the builders aligned the entrance so the setting sun would shine in on the day of the winter solstice. ‘Look’, they said to their dead. “The year is on the turn. Wherever you are, awake.”maes howe


9 thoughts on “Dormancy

  1. Good to hear from you Mr K. I’d worried you’d dug yourself into a snowdrift and were hibernating, like a grumpy grizzly. But no, like me you’re just waiting for SOMETHING to happen. Grim and glum isn’t it? I wince as I squelch across the lawns and leave pooled footprints behinds. And I just avert my eyes from the dead borders. I’ve finally given up on my boots and resorted to wellingtons. Having cold, wet feet all day was getting me even more depressed. Chin up – only a few months to go!! Dave

  2. Sydney Australia. It is the hottest time of year. I do not garden above 35C. The night before the hottest days we water thoroughly and let it soak in for the morning. I put shadecloth over the seedlings to keep the worst sunlight away. All of my garden has a thick layer of mulch on it. We only get about 5 really hot days so it is worth persevering through the above 35C times for the good growth during the rest of summer. Zenda

  3. I think we are all due for a bit more winter before spring can arrive, but its good to see such tiny signs of promise, each little one has to be applauded! Hopefully the rain will stop for a bit and let us all dry out, maybe then we can get some much needed work done.

  4. Dear Kininvie, It must be so hard to see your beautiful garden in this state, but nature does revive. cheers from Sydney Zenda

  5. I’m glad to know you and your primula are waiting for the spring sun to hit your graves, at least there’s hope, you know. I thought you were under a thick load of snow by now, it’s such a weird winter. Looking forward to seeing your primulas (and the third season of Game of Thrones…).

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