Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis.
You have to look a little harder or follow your nose but even in the winter colour and interest can be found in the garden.
I've not met many people who do not like the Snowdrops and now is the time to appreciate them. Up and down the country Galanthophiles swam to attend Snowdrop walks in hope of seeing rare specimens (the likes of which sell for hundreds of pounds for a single bulb), personally i love to see them en-masse carpeting the woodland floor taking advantage of the ephemeral break in the canopy above.
Evergreen plants provide important structure to many a garden design and we wouldn't be without them. I must however confess that Camellias (as classy as the deep green glossy leaves are) tend to get forgotten until they take centre stage. Our Camellia ("R.L Wheeler" perhaps?) is now studded with the watercolour red flowers and buds pictured above.
Radish seedling emerging (Raphanus sativus)
If there is one thing that helps me shake the winter blues it's the thought of growing produce after a much more restrained and limited period of cultivation. Under glass we have been sowing Salad leaves, Spring Onion, Radish, Summer Cabbage, Summer Cauliflower, Broad Beans and Early Peas (rounded seed can be sowed earlier than wrinkle seeded varieties)
Peach Blossom ( Prunus persica)
Under glass we grow our crop of Peaches and already one or two of the swelling buds have broken to produce these stunning, simple, pure flowers. We like to give mother nature a hand with the pollination by leaving open doors for insects as well as transferring pollen from flower to flower every day with a paintbrush.
Just inches from the Peaches our heated beds are warming the feet of our mother Dahlia plants, in a few weeks we will be able to take cuttings which will vastly increase our stock and grow onto to provide stunning colour in late summer.
The jobs in the garden are starting to come thick and fast, Parsnips and Turnips will soon be sowed, Figs, Hydrangeas and Peaches will be pruned and while the Pototoes are Chitting we will be planting Onion sets and Garlic. There is light at the end of the tunnel and as the days begin to stretch winter will soon be a distant memory along with the Camellias.