Much of the south of the United Kingdom may be covered in daffodils and camellias by now, for all I know, but in the far North, it is still winter. Last year, it was deep snow; this year it is just water and wind – so much so, that the occasional day of stillness and frost comes as a relief.
But in the usual miraculous fashion, the pioneers of spring are pushing through the groundThis poor crocus reliably appears on its own each year, earlier than any of the others. It never gets any sun in January, so never opens and never experiences the joy of pollination. In a month, the patch of lawn where it grows will be full of its blossoming relatives, but I value this individual more than them, because it is the first. This leucojum grows in the shelter of a hedge, and again is always the first. I prefer these ‘snowflakes’ to snowdrops – they make more of an impact in the garden. For snowdrops, you need a big wood, where they can spread to their heart’s content. In a grass lawn or a flower bed, they are just a bore and their dying leaves (which you must on no account cut) make a squishy mess well into the gardening season. I do have a few, but I do not love them greatly.
The aftermath of windstorm Adrea means there is a lot of work.After all the destruction, there was a sunset in deep frost-bitten stillness tonight, as though the storms of the past month were merely a bad dream :