A need for nature

Oh, to be outside

Many designers are inspired by nature, the colours, textures and forms, and nature certainly inspires me. However, today I’m writing about a more fundamental need – the need for nature. We live north of Birmingham and it is said that, if you do, the sunshine is not strong enough to enable you to make vitamin D from October to April. I suspect that depleted levels of the sunshine vitamin have something to do with my yearning to be outdoors, that kicks in at this time of year.

Snowdrops on bank

How I long for Spring!

Winter weather in the UK can be quite varied – rain, snow, sleet, frosts or clear crisp days. This year the temperatures have been mild, rarely dropping below zero, with grey cloudy skies and dull, depressing days. And there has been drizzle, rain, torrential rain or storms. It has been a very wet winter; everywhere seems either flooded or water-logged. We are really in need of sunshine to dry out the land and raise our spirits.

Snowdrops by brook


We have a seasonal ritual that, for us, hales the imminence of spring. We go snowdrop hunting – well we visit a garden known for its snowdrops. So, off we went this year expecting to squelch around a poor display.  Everything exceeded expectations; it was the only sunny day of the week and the flowers looked absolutely wonderful. So many of them!

So many snowdrops


Winter Aconite

It was nice to see the cheerful yellow of the Winter Aconite, not quite the fresh yellow of Spring, but welcome nonetheless.

Winter Aconite by path
Winter Aconite


The Hellebore (Christmas or Lenten Rose) were, unusually, holding up their flowers up to catch the sun. What a wonderful display!

Pink Hellebore at Easton Walled Gardens

Our favourite place to see snowdrops is Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire. We always start our visit with warming soup and delicious cake in the cafe, before strolling around the gardens. Then we look at the display of unusual varieties of snowdrops and marvel that such an apparently simple flower can vary so much.

Snowdrop variety 1
Snowdrop variety 2

We are not Galanthophiles (gardeners obsessed with snowdrops), but we do appreciate their short appearance in February. We return home knowing that spring will be soon. And I am refreshed by nature, ready to start work on some new hand knit designs – for Autumn/ Winter 2014/15!