Seasonal Scrapbook

Seasonal Scrapbook Entry (Snow) by Hannah Foley ( All rights reserved.A spring baby meant it was a bit silly to try and keep up with my usual vegetable garden activities this year. I could just imagine sensitive young plants dying of neglect while I tried to manage all the extra demands on my time. Still, I’m missing it very much. Normally these dark winter months would be brightened by gardening plans and the enticing pictures on the front of my carefully chosen seed packets. I’m making up for it by cathartically delving into the pages of Nigel Slater’s book Tender, which we got for Christmas this year. It’s all about Nigel’s vegetable garden and recipes for each vegetable he grows. I sit in bed, propped up on millions of pillows (pregnancy-related reflux – the joys!) swooning over the photographs of his patch!

I’m missing my gardening activities so much that the sight of a few forlorn weeds today took Little Owl and I outside with our trowels. Stepping into the bed at the top of the garden, the weight of my foot caused me to drop several inches into the soil (I know I’m pregnant but still!). I took another step and the same thing happened. Then there was the sound of squeaking and scampering, and from a hole not far away five rats made their escape. The bed had been undermined by their tunnelling activities and it looked like the epicentre was underneath a big old pine tree that overhangs it. Righteous with indignation I took another step to get to the bottom of this outrage, only for two more rats to make a quick exit…from beneath my actual foot! It’s making my scalp crawl just writing that. My courage completely failed me and Little Owl and I ran pell-mell back into the house. I admit it, I screamed. Big Dreamer is under strict orders to deal with this enemy incursion stat.

Rat-related close encounters aside, the thing I love about gardening is how it keeps me in tune with the seasons. I’m someone who needs the structure of the annual calendar of sights, activities, and festivities to keep me sane. I find if I don’t take time to appreciate the arrival of the first swallow or to fly a kite when the breeze is just perfect then slowly but surely I lose sight of what’s important and get in a right old tangle. This is why I set up a page on my website called the Seasonal Scrapbook. The idea was to have a long-term personal project where I produce an illustrated webpage for each day of the year featuring a seasonal highlight or two. Of course it’s foolishly ambitious and I’ll probably never finish it but in the mean time I’ve completed my first entry all about snow! If you follow this link to the scrapbook you’ll see that the entry that is active is coloured red (22nd January in case you miss it). Click on it and you’ll be able to read the page properly – not all small like it is here.

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