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More reflections on snow!

And so the snow returns. Again. Just a couple of inches but guaranteed to stay for the week, thanks to promised sub-zero overnights until Friday. And then, the mercury bounces up to 10, if we're lucky.

It's been mighty cold this week, with -8 two nights ago - just hoping the tree ferns are okay in their straw duvets. Still, these cold nights should put pay to the last remnants of the whitefly scourge that hammered the greenhouse tomato and cucumber crops in the summer.

Accompanying the cold has been beautiful blue sky and wonderful golden morning and mid afternoon light, goving the trees that shelter the walled garden a warm glow. While the early mornings are still very dark, we are getting more light in the afternoons now with dusk nearer to 5 than 4pm, and the sun is starting to arc higher in the sky, bringing a better quality of light.

Much of the time these last three days has been taken up creating circular holes in the ever increasing ice layers on the goldfish and lily ponds. Time- consuming indeed, particularly when a thin skin of ice starts to form 15 mins or so later, necessitating the deft swizzle of a remedial garden cane. A newt came to inspect my work 'from the other side' this morning - all I needed to counteract the gradual loss of feeling in my fingers!

Meanwhile, the gravel sweep outside the kitchen door has become an aviary. It's amazing how many birds (and our solitary squirrel) can be attracted by peanuts, mealworms and bird seed, not to mention The Four Ladies' mixed corn. For a moment at least, perhaps we provide fair competition to our local , and very excellent, Bird Garden! Birds are such a wonderful feature of the winter garden, bringing wonderful animation and sound to what can seem a rather lifeless space at this time of year.

I leave you with a final snow photo - of the Drying Green garden, rather more photogenic at this time of the year with snow than without!

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