Spring in January?

As the years have passed, I’ve grown to look forward to the seasonal changes we experience in the UK. I love the promise of spring, the abundance of summer and the colours of autumn. Winter is my least favourite season. Although Christmas time wouldn’t be the same without short days and cold temperatures, which give the perfect excuse to knit and wear cosy clothes, snuggle in front of a fire and eat preserves made during the summer and autumn!

It’s still the first week of January, but in the garden, there are signs of life. The Christmas rose is flowering beautifully; however, it’s difficult to photograph since the flowers face downwards.

Helleborus niger - Christmas rose
Helleborus niger – Christmas rose

Nearby, a forsythia plant has a single lonely flower. Although this is one of the earliest flowering plants, it’s still a little early. The other flower buds are still dormant, waiting until late February to burst open. This is such a joyful sight, particularly if you can grow a forsythia in your front garden so you can see it every time you leave the house. It’s a reminder to plan and prepare for the growing season.

Forsythia intermedia - forsythia
Forsythia intermedia – forsythia

The plants in the back garden are mainly dormant, but here is a primrose plant, with a flower. Again this is early.

Primula vulgaris - single primrose
Primula vulgaris – single primrose

And it’s not just one plant, but several, and not just one flower per plant, but lots and lots! It’s not the first year that they have flowered so early; last year they started flowering in September!

Primula vulgaris - primrose flowers
Primula vulgaris – primrose flowers

There’s not a lot of colours, but that little bit of bright yellow next to the pale, pale cream and the fresh green leaves brings me much pleasure. That green is, for me, the colour of spring!

Primula vulgaris - primrose flowers
Primula vulgaris – primrose flowers

But it’s still January, mid-winter, and it’s not inconceivable that the temperature will drop or it might snow at some point in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, these are subtle reminders that spring is on its way.

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