There is no drearier reminder that the holidays are over when Auld Lang Syne stops playing incessantly in one’s head and the Christmas decorations are taken down for another year. Expunging the carols, the colour and that frivolous yet satisfying seasonal tat is like a bugle call to return to normal life.
At least here in the southern hemisphere we can just step out of the door to overcome any festive sensory deprivation as nature wields its own kaleidoscope of seasonal traditions, colours and creativity. This is the time of year when the kitchen garden rushes into production overdrive testing my stamina to keep pace.
The beans and peas may be clambering skywards but the weeds are cementing themselves in the paths. It may be a time of abundance but unless you pay full attention your salads will go to seed or you’ll run out of canes and string just as the winds whip up another assault on your sunflowers and sweet peas. Intentions to write a fulsome garden journal evaporate along with whimsical dreams of afternoons lazing on the garden bench reading a poetry and sipping home-made lemonade. Instead it’s a quick slurp of water to stave off dehydration whilst mentality reloading the to-do list and scavenging my brain for ever more creative ways of serving up courgettes.
Only when the chores are done can I relax. That precious moment to wander down to the kitchen garden for in-situ hors d’oeuvres. This time of day I conjure up ideas of a barbecue under the arbour to cook-up right there in the garden but such day-dreams are snuffed out the moment a gust of wind whistles past as a reminder that what the garden really needs is industrial strength bean frames and self-weeding paths.