The first blog of spring!

“The bees are stirring – birds are on the wing, and winter wears on his smiling face, a dream of Spring.”

Coleridge wrote this on February 21st 1825, and nearly two centuries later I watched, entranced, as honey bees on pale mauve crocuses, collected early sweetness in the cold spring sunshine.

It’s been a harsh winter but the little fleece-covered shrubs (looking like the frozen ghosts of Willow Cottage) are about to shed their winter cloaks. It’s that magical time just before they begin to bud, and we know that any day now, the haze of green will cover hawthorn and willow, and Spring will actually be here!

We’re already preparing for summer, putting in drainage where last year’s unremitting rain made pools and ponds –especially at the front and back gates and the bed in front of the cottage. There, the wedding cake tree (Cornus controversa variegate) didn’t survive the summer deluge, so must be replaced, and so must two or three dead cherry trees.

This year’s handbill is nearly ready to print. Watch this space!!