I saw my first blackthorn blossom this week, growing along the cosy banks of the creek that runs through the estate. The catkins have been out for weeks of course (hazel and alder) and the pussy willows have been gleaming from the brush along the river, but I crave real flowers. And yes, the snowdrops and the hellebores and the winter jasmine (all going great guns in the garden) but none of them are spring.
This week, spring has been coming. Daisies speckling the verges, crocuses lighting up the border, and plum blossoms opening, one by one, like stars on their ebony stems. In my back garden, the daffodils are still tightly bound in their buds, but just up the hill, the soil is lighter and the sun is brighter and the daffodils are all out, flashes of spring sunshine from lawns and beds and greens and parks. I even saw a tulip yesterday, fire engine red in a sunny windowbox.
My tulips are still discreet green daggers just peeping above the claggy soil. My danger of frost has not yet passed (and I fear the Acacia from Eden may have paid the price). But in the greenhouse the buds are popping on Crimson Bonfire Peach and OMG Nectarine and the first of the proper spring flowers (Pulmonaria, a dusky crocus, Russian Bluebells, a multi-coloured wallflower) are just showing their faces. Spring is coming.