Glimpses of spring
In these dark days, after our small cold snap (London had a scattering of snow, but not down here in the South West) there are small signs that spring is around the corner.A variegated periwinkle (vinca major) is flowering, and preparing to conquer the world by sending out runners and shoots everywhere. It causes me a bit of heartache when I have to curtail its rampant growth later on in the summer.
I only planted this shrub last summer, and it was a thrill on this dark morning, to see its cheerful waxy blossoms. Chaenomeles japonica, (flowering quince) does particularly well in our village. Large bushes can be seen against many sheltered walls and fences. But January is a bit early to see blossoms, especially on such a tiny plant.
The border under the rowan tree - hence the spattering of white bird poo on the cyclamen leaves, as the tree holds a couple of bird feeders! You can spot snowdrops, a pink polyanthus and - hiding in the middle at the back - a couple of Christmas roses or hellebores (helleborus niger). Their pink flowers are almost green at this time of year. I will try and take a better photo as they come out a bit more.
And the patio pot of winter pansies has been colourful all winter. With no frost to speak of, the blooms have been continuous. The small spears of dwarf daffodils will be budding and flowering before long. Great swathes of daffodils are flowering beside the roads here, months earlier than normal.
The cold spell of freezing temperatures seems to be over, and it feels quite warm again by comparison. Not the winter weather that I remember as a child, when chilblains were common - from coming in with frozen toes and toasting them in front of the fire.