Thursday, 21 December 2017


Midwinter. There's something about this word that I love. It conjures up images of frosty days,  glowing fires, berried greenery, dark woods, shadows, ghost stories and above all quiet. The winter solstice, when it comes is for me very welcome, and is a moment of stillness amid the madness of pre-Christmas celebrations. Having said that, today here at the House with the Blue Door is a busy day of tidying, cleaning and generally making sure that everything is ready for Christmas, and our guests. Nevertheless, I am making sure to light some scented candles and reflect for a moment or two on the fact that we're at the darkest point of the year, and that the days will now get lighter as the earth starts to turn towards the sun - hooray!

Yesterday P and I went shopping in Frome, a pretty town not far from here. I had a very productive time buying some last-minute presents and finally some berried greenery. There doesn't seem to be much holly with berries on it in the florists at the moment, but I managed to find some.

Here I am looking very pleased with myself after finding some mistletoe, rosehips and red-berried foliage.

As it was almost lunchtime, we stopped off for coffees, and a mince pie for P and a pastel de nata (one of my favourites) for me. Very nice too.

 While we were shopping I bought this little collection of 10 poems with an evergreen theme, and am looking forward to reading them with a cup of tea later.

I do so love the different shapes and colours of winter greenery. It's just as lovely as spring and summer flowers, but is very different - more structural and striking, and the berries are so bright. I'm especially fond of mistletoe. Its simple green and white combination is a beautiful contrast to all the rich and sparkly colours of Christmas. I also like its connections with our distant past, and the fact that it grows in orchards on apple trees. It's a fascinating plant all round. 

In my little midwinter arrangement is also some winter-flowering honeysuckle which I grow in a pot next to our back door. When the year is at its drabbest and spring still seems so far away it's gorgeous scent is a treat when I'm popping outside for something. I stop and inhale its sweet scent on the cold air and think of warmer days to come.

Here's some more winter greenery, spotted on a recent run in the woods. I love the shape of ivy very much and was particularly taken with this rather pointy-leaved plant. There's still so much to enjoy outside at this time of year if you look for it.

Right, better get back to the Christmas cleaning now! See you soon, and happy solstice! x


  1. I love your greenery and the display you made, my purchase today from the garden centre was "British Daffodils, don't think I have seen them this time of year before.x

    1. How lovely! I was tempted by daffodils yesterday, but don't think I can 'do' yellow at Christmas. Silly, I know! I'm sure you'll enjoy them.
      Cathy x

  2. I keep trying to clean and tidy here too, but with E home from uni it's a losing battle! Hurrah for the Winter Solstice and longer days! Your bag of Festive foliage looks lovely - as do the coffee and treats! Good luck with the cleaning and have a wonderful Christmas. xx

  3. Beautiful photos, and lovely to see you in Frome. I haven't been there for ages, you've reminded me how pretty it is. I love mistletoe too, it's got a certain enchanted quality to it I think. Gorgeous picture of the honeysuckle against the grey backdrop. CJ xx

  4. You've got some lovely berries there, they always make a good display. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas. x

  5. Winter honeysuckle sounds lovely. I must look out for some. Enjoy your Christmas. B x


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