There's nothing you can do to stop winter coming - apart from moving to a different continent. When darkness descends, burying your head in the sand won't help. This is a guide to help you start the ball rolling. A garden-lover's kick-start on how to enjoy winter and the festive season.
Firstly, dplants in garden centres and within on-line plant shops. Step through the garden doors of your laptop or phone and a whole new world opens up before you, where spring seems to be just around the corner. Visiting a reall-live plant centre is also good for the soul.
Make merry with our early shopping suggestions
A bulb planting kit for indoors is the equivalent of that Eureka moment. Gifts for auntie, grandad and sister Sue. Choose from Hyacinths, Amaryllis, Narcissi, Crocus, Tulips and more. Everything the recipient needs in order to grow some colourful cheer. Most kits are inexpensive, such as the Amaryllis pictured below, available during winter season whilst stocks last.
How about gardeners' tools, storage equipment or something for the shed? There are Christmas gifts or simple winter gifts to yourself which will make the season feel like a special time.
Plan for the early spring - it's just around the corner
Bird nesting boxes; insect houses; bird feeders; bird baths and more. Birds are a gardeners friend. They eat aphids and keep your plants free from nibbling snails and slugs. What's more, they really do cheer people up. We all need to encourage birds into gardens and to promote biodiversity. They bring so much joy, it's a small gesture to provide somewhere for them to nest, eat and bathe. The Country Cottage nest box (pictured) is rather cute but there are many others available HERE.
Garden ornaments with integral solar lighting can be quirky but fun. A string of fairy lights powered by the sun is uplifting on a dark night. Even on a cloudy day, solar-charged batteries gain enough energy to give you some light after dusk. Twinkling lights out in the garden provide joy to the human spirit and most are available for under £20. The foxglove solar garden light (pictured), costs £16.85 (+p&p).
Those who love gardens generally enjoy plant-related gifts. For example, plant-related mugs, coasters or storage tins for the home and shed, garden tools, kneelers, even garden twine in a tin.
Equipped for the festive season
Simple tools and equipment are always well received by garden-lovers. A new weeding tool, a seed storage tin, spare secateurs, gloves and trowels indispensable. The garden kneeler, by Burgon & Ball is decorated with flora and fauna. Knees are going to be lucky!
Indoor plants are so valuable for good health. We probably all know by now that they are capable of soaking up toxins and are really efficient air cleaners. It has even been shown that plants can clear away bacteria and allergens, meaning that we are less likely to catch colds and bugs if we have at least one medium to large house plant in every 15 square metres of indoor space . Not to mention the fact that plants make us feel good, mentally. It's called biophilia, since you asked.
A little piece of philosophical advice
Lao-Tzu, also known as Laozi, the ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, suggested that, Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. In the 4th century BC,