So, I had an idea.
What if, on what’s stated to be the darkest and dreariest day of the year, gardeners show a taste of summer – an opportunity to spread some joy and happiness, whet the appetite as we scour seed catalogues, and plan for the growing season ahead.
The date in question is Monday, January 15th, otherwise known as #bluemonday. Last year on the same announced day, I posted lots of pictures of blue coloured flowers, in an attempt to create a paradigm shift regarding this apparent low point of the year, into a day of celebration of the garden colour past and the garden colour to come. Now I have a lovely network of people on social media, who, probably mostly out of politeness, liked the pics and acknowledged what I was doing, with a few even joining in a little. I didn’t really comment at the time about what I was doing or why, just a wee blitz of blue colour for the day that was in it.
Fast forward almost a year, and as we headed towards last Christmas, I reflected on the year that was. Gardening wise, there was lots of fun, success and surprises, with some definite learning points (code for complete disasters).
Personally too, although there was many laughs along with deep conversations, I also have things to contemplate. There is an ongoing family situation that I can only wish people involved good health and happiness. The biggest impact however, was where one of my best friends as a teenager past away during the year. Although we had mostly lost touch since our teens, hearing of his passing was very saddening. When we experience loss, there is a particular process we go through. It can take time to understand what has happened, process it emotionally and what it means, and then reach a point of acceptance in order to allow ourselves to move on. For me, although there is still some road to travel in processing his passing, his family are regularly in my thoughts as I can only wish them moments of peace and solace amid the day to day busyness of the world.
So, how does this fit with #summergarden colour?
You see, I love January. I constantly say it. Yes, it’s dark with poor light levels. Yes, the days are short, and you may not see the garden from one end of the day to the other. And yes, the weather is typically cold with spells of coolness in between. However, it’s also the month that we begin to see the slight lengthening of days and the emergence of the first flowers of the year. It’s also a month of planning, excitement and dreaming of the colour that will be in our lives and gardens. Finally, it’s a month to really appreciate those little things before we emerge from winter hibernation to a year that will whizz by one we get into mid February.
Now I know not many people agree with my January sentiments (in fact many people wish the month away), so what if we do something. Something a little different.
So, I had an idea.
What if we absolutely blast colour all over social media and in our homes on the darkest dreariest time of the year. Wouldn’t that be a treat !
You see, I believe being involved in the growing of plants, the creating of gardens and sometimes just getting your hands dirty in the soil is s great way of connecting with nature, understanding who we are and as the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll said ‘a lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know of the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.’
So, my friends, please join in, in spreading some colour and happiness in our lives over this weekend and on Monday. Use the #summergarden colour hashtag, so if we can find each other’s posts and share the joy. Make it an event within your own network, invite people to join in, as one person said, let’s light the path to spring.
All the best,