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- Winter and early spring in the Parsonage garden

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Now that Autumn's charms are dying,
Summer's glories long since gone,
Faded leaves on damp earth lying,
Hoary winter striding on

'Gloomily the clouds..' by Anne Brontë 
Standing in the Parsonage garden on a bright April morning with Stanley racing around full of the joys of spring, it is difficult to recall the long, wet and windy winter that has passed. Though we worked hard to put the garden to bed, with Geoff cutting back shrubs, and all of us clearing debris and gathering leaves, there were still moments of laughter and joy as we headed into the slumberous depths of winter. Memorable was the sound of the brass band playing in the front garden in December serenading the fading flowers and later too, the soft white blanket that was to enfold the lawn and cover the sleepy snowdrops just peeping through the borders.

From the depths of its darkest days, the garden was generous in its bountiful offerings of holly, pine cones and branches which adorned the Parsonage kitchen and mantle-pieces adding a festive air to the Brontë home.
Celebrating Anne’s bicentenary in January also meant preparing pots of bulbs to cheerfully greet our visitors at the museum entrance.

Our end of year priority was to maintain the colour and structure throughout the winter garden. We planted even more splendid hellebores in various hues, chosen by Jenny, and a range of scented narcissi and hyacinths as well as adding a mahonia, daphne and some winter box to waft gentle scents around the front door.

Gardeners love to share their work with others and thrive on sharing new ideas but sadly this has been curtailed with the closure of the garden. It is now a secret garden, an even more magical world which Geoff, Jenny and myself, Theresa, feel so very privileged to enter, albeit socially distanced from each other.

The church clock has stopped and has fallen silent but be rest-assured that under its gaze, we three, with the help of Stanley, and also Stephen who has helped greatly with mulching the beds, are all carefully tending the flowers, lawn and special roses, awaiting your return……
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