Despite the past weeks of thick snow, gale force winds and torrential rain, the poor crocuses are making a determined effort to cheer everyone up ! It is now daylight until after 5pm and there's a slight difference in daylight in the mornings too.
At this time of year, I love to take a walk round the garden every morning to see what has made an appearance. The current stars of the show are: snowdrops, crocuses, Mahonia (still flowering bravely since before Xmas), Viburnum bodnantense (beautiful scent !), and not flowering but creating a Wow! factor with colour is Cornus (red stemmed dog wood). It looks spectacular with the clump of snowdrops growing in front of it.
And people say there isn't anything of interest in gardens at the moment ! It highlights the importance of planting for year-round interest. Most people go to garden centres in spring and summer and buy what is currently in flower. Of course that's a lovely thing to do, but we need to make more effort for winter interest – especially as it takes up nearly half of the year !
Elsewhere, there are signs of the winter coming to an end – the bees are making brief appearances on rare sunny afternoons (very rare these last few weeks !). Soon they will be bringing in pollen from willow, hazel & crocus. The bees make food for their brood with pollen as it is full of protein, so once we see pollen going into the hive, we can say that the queen must have started to lay again. But at the moment it's only 6 degrees during the day, so we wouldn't expect to see much action for another few weeks. Still, it's something else to look forward to !
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