Signs of spring

Posted in All posts, March, on

It is that time of year when we look for signs outdoors, however small, that spring has sprung. I adore winter, I love the glossy berries that make an appearance in the garden, but also the lull, the time to restock on energy, to hibernate and read in front of the fire. I love the frosts and those sunny days when it is perishingly cold. The feeling of the freezing wind on your face making your eyes water. Then coming inside, invigorated, welcomed by a hot chocolate. But towards the end of winter, when the grass is looking flat and dull and there is little colour anywhere, I’m beginning to itch for the next season to begin.

The Met Office classify spring in months. March, April and May. Others say spring doesn’t start until the spring equinox towards the end of March. As gardeners know, however, Mother Nature doesn’t have a calendar or a reminder on her iPhone that spring is due to start. It begins when she says so. And, quite frankly, that is one of the wonders, and the joys, of the season.

Every morning as I walk the dog around the field, after letting out and feeding the chickens (who, incidentally are laying much more as they know spring is in the air) I look for signs of spring. There was much excitement when the snowdrops appeared. They always come first on a sheltered, sunny spot in the corner of the village and soon after they pop up in my garden. Then I noticed crocuses in the beautiful Manor House garden I pass on my daily dog walk, plus an iris I grew indoors last year has flowered in its spot in the new flowerbed. The hyacinths are growing upwards, proudly, and the flowering currant and magnolia are showing signs of life.

The rest of the trees I’ve planted, the sycamore, the poplars, the wild cherries, are all definitely thinking about spring. If you look closely at their leaf buds the promise is certainly there.

But it is the willow that is providing really happy signs. We have planted many different types of willow. Cricket bat willow, common osier willow, scarlet willow, weeping willow, a hybrid willow, grey willow and crack willow. But it is the goat willow (pictured above) that is currently giving me great joy. The catkins are just beginning to emerge on our very young trees. Beautiful shades of furry grey bursting from the buds.

They are telling me that soon it will be time to pack away my winter coat. That spring is very much on its way.

Thanks for reading,