Friday, 9 February 2018

A secret garden

A garden unfurls its secrets month by month, 
as the seasons blossom, then ebb away.

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed 
and every morning revealed new miracles.” 
 Frances Hodgson Burnett

February is the last unknown month in our little patch of earth- a courtyard garden enclosed by a Cotswold stone wall, nestled deep within the By Brook Valley, and overlooked by soaring beech trees. From March, we'll start to cycle through the seasons again, this time with a year of knowledge behind us.

So, what has appeared this month?

Hundreds and hundreds of snowdrops. 

Defying the freezing nights and harsh frosts, they began to emerge before the new year had even begun. Now, with a touch of weak winter sun on their pure white faces, they sit gently nodding in unison in the frigid breeze. All around them signs of spring are following suit- the tips of bluebells, daffodils, narcissus and tulips are likewise pushing up through frozen ground and decaying leaf litter to greet the sunshine. A few aconites have popped their canary-yellow heads up amongst the bare branches of a fuchsia bush. Buds are appearing on the rose bushes and the snowball viburnum. Leaves are tentatively unfurling, slowly, but they're definitely there.

Next month I know the garden and the countryside will become a riot of bright yellows. Daffodils, forsythia, primrose and gorse will take centre stage, and the agricultural land around us will be awash with sunshine-yellow rapeseed. For now though, the snowdrops sit in their thousands, bobbing in the breeze.

Kate  x


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