'Wild Ideas' Our seasonal blog with some thoughts and inspiration from nature

Winter reflections

As autumn moves into winter we find ourselves busy clearing the garden, lighting bonfires and appreciating those few brave flowers or winter berries that continue to shine valiantly through the grey damp days. There is a sense of shock and dismay at all that barren-ness after the great abundance of the growing season. But there is also pleasure in taking the garden back to its bare bones and allowing ourselves a breathing space before the next round of seed-sowing launches us into a spring frenzy. As the garden lies fallow, we learn to appreciate non-doing as a natural part of the rhythm of the year which serves as a potent reminder to us gardeners to allow ourselves to rest through this time of short dark days. 

This can feel almost impossible in our twenty first century culture of busy-ness. As a therapeutic horticulture project, we are continually aware of the tension between keeping up with all the seasonal jobs in the garden, whilst also offering a gentle, nurturing space where participants can relax and be in the present moment. Winter comes as a much-appreciated and timely wake-up call to being-ness and letting go of constant activity.


Sitting around the bonfire, taking time to gaze at the leaping flames and roasting the last of the pumpkins which we grew successfully for the first time this year, we begin to get a taste of what winter is all about. The pumpkins are sweetly delicious and comforting. We are warmed by the flames and by the laughter and companionship of our friends. There is a sense of simplicity, timelessness and enough-ness in this. What more could a gardener want?