I’d popped over to read Sue’s latest post at The Quince Tree a day or two ago to read about her strategies for surviving January. It’s not surprising that many of us need a plan of action. It’s often the month that has the lowest levels of illuminance/sunlight (measured in lux). The sun’s rays are obscured by thick cloud for much of the coming weeks which has a direct effect on seratonin levels. This is why I ran the Making Winter project in the winter of 2011/2012.
Despite this I find that I feel hopeful at this time of year. I have to confess that I’m not Christmas’s number one fan and when January arrives I feel refreshed and immediately begin to look forward to Spring. There’s no doubt that it’s a dreary month, weather-wise. In fact for much of today the cloud was so thick that there was little more than twilight here on the edge of the Fens, but mentally I’m looking beyond winter towards the lighter days.
Yesterday I had a strong urge to find some flowers. I’d spotted that my winter sweet was in bloom. This is a waxy, almost unearthly flower with a heady smell that seems to combine jasmine and hyacinth. It’s a welcome treat just after Christmas and I often forget about it until it opens its strange buds. I’d also spotted a kind of cherry/prunus flowering next to a scout hut in Fordham. I decided to go on a flower hunt. I was prepared to cheat if neccessary (there are two garden centres in Fordham).
Things began well. I found a self-seeded viola in a pot outside the front door, saw that my white viburnum was sporting some very Spring-like white blossom and my winter flowering jasmine was studded with tiny yellow flowers. I now have to confess that I snipped one or two small twigs of a scented pink viburnum that was covered in blossom but looking straggly and unwanted on some wasteground near here. I also burgled a little of the prunus from near the scout hut. I now feel slightly guilty about this. My violas, tete-a-tete and cyclamen came from the garden centre.
Together these tiny flowers satisfied my floral craving and once I’d bunged them in jars it looked for all the world like Spring on our dining room table. I highly recommend it.