You may well think that I am slightly unhinged to venture upon this topic (and you may well be right) in a week of iron-grey skies and rain lashing the roof-tops ... but the sun is smiling weakly upon my little plot this morning, and I think there is room for a small amount of seasonal optimism, in my case facilitated by a bloggy friend.
Not that I am requiring you to go outside to do your winter gardening - I would be the first to admit that I am a fair-weather gardener, and have usually retreated indoors before the end of October, only to emerge, blinking, into the first sunlight of early spring. My blood runs low and sluggish with the waning light, by December I have an overwhelming urge to hibernate, and I quail at the thought of January and February.
No, my favourite form of winter gardening is done indoors. On a dark and stormy night, I suggest that you curl up on a sofa with Monty Don (The Complete Gardener is my favourite), a cosy crochet granny blanket, and some seed catalogues - and then just dream of abundance to come.
The good thing about gardening is that there is always next year - never mind last year's failures, next year will be different. The soil will be different, the sun and rain will be different, the green fuse will ignite in a different way.
So sit and look at those vivid and winter-piercing pictures of good green things to come and think about what you would like to eat next summer. You can see from the pictures that I have plenty to look forward to already, thanks to the lovely Michela at Little Secrets From My Garden. I received the most wonderfully cheering parcel from her this week, full of the most exciting Italian seed packets, all wrapped in festive red tissue, and tied with gold.
And no, I didn't wait for Christmas to open it - I looked upon it as an Advent present instead, and wasted no time before investigating its contents. And I am afraid that I also wasted no time in consuming the immediately edible portion which was not vegetable in nature, but medicinally chocolatey.
So my winter dreams are now of sitting on my holiday sofa next summer, partaking of a fresh and flavoursome Mediterranean salad, and consuming quantities of elderflower champagne. I feel warmer and cheerier already, and thank you, Michela, for your kindness and generosity which has brought a little spring into my step, deep in the midst of winter.