Wandering down to the paddock and out past the dam to let the muscovies out each morning, I pass by one of my little swales. This morning, with the crispness, the plum tree looked kind of beautiful with the icy white all around its base. My almond trees have all lost their leaves in readiness for Winter and their red branches look amazing against the cool, blue sky. One tree I've been really surprised at is my tagasaste tree which I planted as it fixes nitrogen (feeds the productive trees around it), you can use the foliage for mulch or as fodder for animals but I also planted it as food for bees with the flowers appearing late in winter. Well that's what I'd thought. I have some in bloom right now, which is what can happen under certain conditions apparently. My bees seem very happy with this as there is little else for them at the moment as they fly around on these warmish afternoons. It's important to have diversity and a variety of trees to not only support each other but all the creatures in an ecosystem.
I continued cleaning up the garden today which is looking a little blank in spaces at present. It's kind of a relief to not have as much going on in the garden after the busyness of autumn harvests and preserving. I'm happy to have a small patch of mostly greens to add to my preserves to enjoy throughout winter. My mint is looking quite good despite the cold, while my collard greens and broccoli thrive in the cooler conditions. May be too late to add in too many more seedlings but I'll throw some seeds around and they'll then get going when the conditions are right.
My chickens and ducks are really enjoying me spending time in the garden up near them. I'm able to throw a lot of the old plants to them and often come across a snail, a slug or a grub to throw to them. It's funny watching them race each other to see who can get to it first. They'll probably get a bit more tomorrow before I turn my attention to a bit of compost making. Winter is the time I do that as there are plenty of resources, such as my neighbours oak tree leaves, just waiting for my down time to collect them!
Enjoy your day xx