As winter’s chill glazes the landscape with a final frosting, there is still time to treasure the last few weeks of the coldest season. Its stark appeal is encapsulated in the white-stemmed bramble, adding its tangled thorny strands of light to the garden. Now is also the best time to plant tall, pliant rods of willow to create a trellis which will change from a bare framework to a leafy living hedge as the year progresses.
Soon the first signs of life will be stirring as the landscape senses the promise of spring. In Gloucestershire, colour is gently unfolding down a hillside garden in harmony with surrounding woodland, and early bulbous iris reveals its cool purple petals, ideal for creating elegant indoor arrangements.
Discover a historic south Devon town and abbey at the gateway to a lush green part of Dartmoor, swathed in myth and mystery. Admire the cascading torrents of waterfalls as the river makes its journey to the sea and the beauty of books printed on ancient presses in a Cotswold village.
The lure of evenings spent in the warmth of the home remains as the cold continues to bite, allowing time to enjoy craft projects. A hanger for displaying precious jewellery is simple to make from a cut-off branch and a crochet pattern, ideal for beginners, unfolds into a soft lattice-wave shawl.
In the kitchen, comfort food is welcome at the table, from flavoursome potato dishes to creamy rice puddings and bakes with satisfying oats. By the fireside, the domestic cat is licking his fur, following a ritual which is revealed to be more complex than first appears.
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