Winter is the quietest season for harvesting herbs, and it should always be done in moderation as plants grow a lot slower this time of the year, but you can still have your fix of fresh herbs:
Evergreens like sage, rosemary and thyme;
A lot of the spring herbs are making an early appearance this year, and if you look around, you’ll see cleavers, chickweed and nettles coming up;
If you have a bright windowsill, you can keep herbs going indoors.
Make a plan for the year ahead. Think of what you’d like to grow this year - what’s the best way and best time to propagate it? What conditions does it like and where would you grow it?
What about those ‘weeds’ always growing in your garden and the edge of your pots - What are they? Are they edible, medicinal or useful in some way?
IN THE GARDEN
We’ve had a pretty mild winter so far, but are likely to have some frosty days ahead. If you haven’t yet, protect your perennials against frost and snow.
Plant bare root shrubs and climbers like roses, honeysuckle and hops.
If you’ve had a compost bin or compost pile going, check how it is doing and sieve some compost in preparation for Spring. If you don’t have your own compost going yet, but have room for it, why not get your own compost system going?
Have a little break from sowing seeds, and organise your seed collection and/ or seed wish-list instead. Spring will be here before we know it, and won’t it be great to have all those seeds ready to go then? Look up your local seed swop to meet other growers and exchange seeds. A couple coming up are Seedy Sunday in Brighton and the Incredible Edible Lambeth Seed Swap.
This month we are resonating with a poem from one of our favourite writers…
The Cold by Wendell Berry
How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,
my body containing its own
warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go
separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you
perfect too in your solitude,
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping
-to be clear, poised
in perfect self-suspension
toward you, as though frozen.
And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.
// Words Camila B //