Clearing away dead foliage from summer and autumn flowers, now turned to mush by a couple of weeks of snow and sub-zero temperatures, it is a delight to find the half ripe buds of daffodils and grape hyacinths. New shoots on clematis, honeysuckle, hops and even the grapevine remind me a bit of pruning will be necessary soon. There is a small carpet of love-in-the-mist seedlings bouncing back up after being blanketed by snow and the wallflowers are starting to bud.
A lot of soft green foliage has been burnt by the cold. The roses and jasmine look worse for wear but should be OK. The same cannot be said for the potted geraniums I forgot to take back in this winter, some things never change! The lawn is a carpet of half composted mushy leaves and moss, still soft and very wet underfoot and a dandelion in flower reminds me that the lawnmower needs a check over as the temperatures start to climb.
The sound of birdsong is a delight at this time of year, not least because early evenings and late mornings make their choruses available at more reasonable times of day. Two robins are resident in the garden at the moment and the blackbirds and song thrushes are making the most of the extra food put out over the wintry spell last week.
The snow last week has now cleared completely to reveal the first signs of spring.
(It has occurred to me that losing the geraniums has given me space inside to grow aubergines and cucumbers for gherkins!)