Winter is the season for lovers. Being cold and hot, prudish and passionate. It’s the season of secrets and revelations. Big coats, warm boots and cosy gloves, the glimpse of a collarbone, the neckline, the little hollow that begs to be touched. Less is revealed, and more is desired. Short days and dark nights, the moodiness.

Hellebores or winter rose. One of my favourite winter flowers.

The polarity between indoors and outdoors. The comfort of home and the need to leave when it’s been too long. The fire is mesmerising, wanting more, adding another log. Not knowing when it is enough or recognising that it is too much. An inability to be measured. Having to open the window to let the freezing air in, peeling off the layers of clothing. Where is the point of divergence and the space in which we join? Winter is the season of contrasts.

The clothes. The time it takes to dress properly. The extra garments, the pantyhose, the camisole, and the little items determine whether my day will be cold or comfortable. Remembering the scarf and umbrella. The time it takes to undress. Everything is slow, forced patience.

Dry skin, dry hair, wet clothes, wet walls, condensation, warm breath. Writing on the glass, the shower, the back door, the car windows, and no surface is forbidden. The messages are obvious, funny and omnipresent. They make me laugh.

The disparate flowers of winter. The heady fragrance of daphne. The fragile dogwood and happy daffodils. The time spent outdoors, the wet knees, easy digging, soft earth and abundant weeds. The genial winter sun reassuring on my back, contentment. All the things that make my winter garden unique.

The early hours of the winter evening, they are suited to seeing the milky way. There is less humidity and clear skies; you can pinpoint the stars. It is a time for observing after the exertion of planting and pruning, and picking. The last few minutes before it gets really cold. It is silent; no birds are chirping at this hour of this season.

Winter is the season for dinner parties, entertaining, red wine, gooey cheese and friends. Hot ovens, warm scones, sticky jam and clotted cream. It is the time for flushed cheeks, cold hands, brisk walks and impassioned embraces, relieving one another of the cold.

The hot baths without haste. Cool sheets, warm bodies, crisp air. The leisurely lie Ins, the long mornings and the lazy weekends. Winter is the season for lovers, both new and old.

It is the season we welcome upon its arrival, and then we are desperate for it to end.

If you feel inspired to do some gardening

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