The signs of spring are a little tardy this year, frightened off by the cold weather of the last couple of months. In my garden, at least, there were no nodding yellow daffodils to greet St David's Day last Monday – the buds are slim and tightly closed.
But I enjoyed real warmth with the sunshine on my back as I walked my dog Barney through the woods, and the heart-lifting sight of clumps of snowdrops, which signal that the end of winter is drawing closer.
Tip for planting snowdrops
Talking of snowdrops, I was with Richard Jackson yesterday who told me that if you want to enjoy snowdrops next year, planting them now 'in the green' (with their leaves still attached rather than bare bulbs) is the way to do it – try these English snowdrops for starters. Put them under trees, in the lawn or simply fill a pot with them, but make sure you can see them from inside your home.
Other signs that my garden is waking up are the catkins that dangle from the twigs like forgotten Christmas decorations and the buds – flufffy on the magnolia or sticky horse chestnut – filling up ready to burst open.
But the most noticeable of all, for me, is that although I leave home in darkness, by the time I approach QVC Towers around 6.30am the sun is rising over the chimneys of Battersea power station (see pic top left) and I arrive in something approaching daylight! Hurrah!!
What do you love (or dislike!) about spring?
The only thing I regret about the year progressing is that it will soon be time for me to put my snug Emu boots away, but that's a small price to pay for the general lifting of spirits, the longer days, and the warmer weather. I wonder what the best (or worst) part of spring is for you?
There is one other thing for me – on the third official day of spring I turn another year older and this year will hit the ripe old age of 50! But more on that another day…