There have been few crisp, clear days this winter, and in the clammy, cold mizzle it’s near impossible to imagine warmer days returning.
Thank goodness then for those brave blooms that shun the numbing cold of damp days to remind us that spring is on its way.
Hellebores, snowdrops, winter aconites and winter jasmine lift our spirits as we make our way around the garden, which lies in a stupor, drunk on too much rainfall. The heavy clay sticks to our boots and we fear for the new turves that were laid in the autumn. Sodden turf and bare earth stretch out before us; a muddy blank canvas that threatens to overwhelm. But with swathes of snowdrops to inspect and the broad spears of the daffodils beginning to break the soil, we gather our thoughts back to the planting schemes that have been drawn up for the newly-created beds. This year we will re-make a garden out of the chaos left behind by the builders.
Our beloved snowdrops and other spring bulbs, all mature clumps, appear to have survived the digging and rubble dumping, and the challenge now is how to create interest in the same spaces once the bulbs have faded. One solution to try will be to sow seeds, and already this has afforded some happy hours poring over the Sarah Raven catalogue.
Do you have plans for your garden this year?