Monday, February 06, 2012


I posted the above picture yesterday; and today...
... came across this one, which was taken in August from more or less (not quite) the same spot. And that - together with Daughter 2's enthusiasm for winter - led to my thinking about seasons.
Britain has very definite seasons and it came as a surprise to me when I started teaching and came across students from other countries (for example, Malaysia) where they don't have spring, summer, autumn and winter as we do. They may have, for example, a rainy season but they don't have markedly different periods of weather when the plants change their characteristics.
I suppose it's just what you're used to, but though I couldn't positively claim to love winter, it makes spring even more pleasurable. The first day of spring weather is so intoxicating, when the earth's warming up and you can almost feel the roots spreading beneath your feet; the birds sing; the daffodils are such an intense yellow; and everything is full of promise. Then there's the summer pleasure of seeing the leaves unfurling, the herbaceous plants burgeoning and blooming and the air becoming mild and, yes, sometimes hot. Autumn has that rich lushness together with the occasional nip in the air to remind you to appreciate it because winter's on its way. And even winter can be lovely - the beautiful days give hints of spring to come and the dark, cold, wet ones provide a fine excuse to shut the curtains and read books.
Maybe it's just all a big con; maybe we kid ourselves that we like the variety because that's what we've got. But - conveniently - I do like it. At the moment in the garden the snowdrops are still blooming, most of the crocuses have come out and the first, Tete-a-Tete daffodils are opening. Spring won't be long now.
The gardening season is almost upon us. I'm looking forward to it.


  1. I live in a 4-season place, and I truly do like it. I like having a time when we bundle up and cozy in, and I like having a time when we work the earth and lounge at the beach. I do wonder, though, if living in a season-less place would make time seem to move slower? If I lived somewhere near the equator where the length of day was the same year-round and the seasons were the same, would I feel the passing of time as keenly as I do when one season so quickly turns into the next?

  2. We don't have such well delineated seasons here as you do in Scotland, but I can assure Besomom emphatically that it does not slow down the passage of time! I must say that I do miss having well defined seasons, but having mild weather in winter instead of ice and snow is adequate consolation!

  3. We have four seasons here too, although not as definite as yours. Soon it will be autumn here.....our autumn is a lovely season, the heat of summer has finally gone (although we haven't much heat this year, touch wood), days are shorter and the nip of colder weather is in the air.

  4. I like the seasons too. They were more pronounced in NZ than they are, here in Australia, but we do get the changes. However this has been the wettest summer I can remember, and it is cooler than most.
    As Jennifer says, the autumn here is lovely as a rule, crisp and clear, and such a relief after the normally hot hot summers.

  5. I like the 4 seasons too. Before we moved to Georgia we were living in Southern California and there are only 2 seasons out there, cool, when it rains Nov-April and very hot.
    When we were considering places to retire to I told Mac I wanted to live where the seasons have a smell, where the leaves change color and spring is special. We got that in Georgia and we love it here.
    I don't want to live where winter is really bad so the mild winter we're having really suits me.

  6. You have a fine view in both seasons.

    I love the turning seasons too. The lengthening of the days at this time of year is a wonderful change, even if the days are still bitterly cold.