We’re at the end of January – at least very nearly so – but certainly not at the end of winter. It’s been a better day today, milder and a touch sunnier, but it’s forecast to turn colder again overnight and the “monthly outlook” makes the slightly uncertain suggestion that on the whole February could be colder, if drier, than January, all down to the Greenland High, embracing us and sending the wet western weather further south. So we’re in the midst of winter even by the meteorological definition that offers us Spring on March 1st.
The garden is by no means dormant though. All around there are things stirring; bulbs of course and prominent among them the lovely but not quite in full bloom snowdrops. Others, planted with a view to Spring seem to be sticking up a hand and saying “be with you soon”. There are buds on an old apple tree (slightly dodgy focus in the picture!) and the Hellibore keeps smiling. We’ve a Skimmia in a pot beside the greenhouse that shrugs off the snow every time and looks none the worse for it, and the winter heather is blooming cheerfully.
So it’s a lively picture if one cares to look at it. So much bad stuff around, so many stories of how hard it’s all been, so many anxieties about how hard it’s going to be, so much blame and anger: here’s the natural counterpoint; the line of music that takes the painful austerity of the covid melody and offers a whole, a completeness which is actually full of hope which might become joy and anticipation which might sound the way forward.
Life goes on, and will go on, and next month there are seeds to be planted!