Well, I had quite a break from the gardens - first snow, then more snow, then still more snow, then a short holiday, then helping my elderly mother after an op, then rain and more rain. I wasn't totally off the case as there has been masses of wedding planning and even a bit of office organising, but now spring is just round the corner and outside it's all muddy and messy and in my mind - but probably only mine - potentially magnificent, glorious and optimistic!
I've spent the past couple of weeks (in between downpours) making new steps, planting more willow, planting more peonies, dividing clumps of this and that and even a bit of that incredibly necessary weeding. Things have got a bit out of hand in that department but I'm sure all will be well because, well, because it has to be!
I did think about putting something up on the blog earlier because I have had complaints about complete silence on this front, but I only had mud to photograph, or extremely muddy dogs, or an extremely muddy me, and I would like to think of myself as a bit less grubby than all that.
In the gardens now bulbs are looking hopeful, tulips are popping through happily, in some areas the scent from the daphnes and the honeysuckles make me happy to linger, even in the rain. Hellebores seem to have reverted, or my lovely ones have disappeared or are just late to appear, but even the plain white or deep purple are beautiful. In the tunnel ranunculus are shooting away but not much else is happening there as we had a bit of a freezing situation with a door left open at the wrong time. I have started off the first seeds but there's no point in getting too carried away as our ground is always late and it's at least twice as much work to get early things going than starting later when things catch up anyway.
This weekend is the first wedding of the year. The bride was hoping for bright and cheerful anemones in her bouquets, in fact desperately wanted bright anemones, so I resorted to buying in a load from Cornwall. Sadly they arrived this morning and about 90 per cent have browned petals which is a bit of a beggaration. So she will get a few bright and white ranuncs with narciss and bits and pieces and a few anemones for the pew ends etc where they won't be quite so obvious.