February flowers

It has been a gift of a day with glorious dawn-to-dusk sunshine and barely a breath of wind. It’s certainly not the type of day you expect here in February. We’ve had a lovely weekend with my brother and his family visiting and we’ve been so lucky with the weather. We waved goodbye to them earlier this afternoon and, as my eldest child returned to uni a few days ago, it’s now back to the quiet of just the four of us again.

After they’d gone, I sat in the garden with the dog in the warm sunshine, contemplating life and admiring the violets in the lawn. Studying all the early spring promise and beauty was so cheering that I had to share it with you here. I can’t remember seeing as many violets before and while the snowdrops are not quite as abundant as in previous years, there are still plenty lighting up the lawn and path edges and looking wonderful in the afternoon sunshine.

In other news, my cast has gone. My bone is healed. Hurrah! What I stupidly hadn’t mentally prepared for, though, was how stiff and sore my hand and arm would be. My hand has swollen up (dubbed this weekend ‘the fat hand of doom’) and the skin is incredibly sensitive so there’s no pruning, digging or sowing for me yet. I will have to patient and work hard on regaining movement and strength and in the meantime carry on planning and dreaming. Thank goodness for the February flowers.

In a Vase on Monday: quiet anticipation

If you stand outside and shut your eyes, you can definitely hear it – the birds know it’s coming; their songs have shifted up a gear – and in the warm sunshine of recent days it’s easy to feel in your bones that early spring is here. Of course, winter could come back and bite us but I’m taking it as it comes at the moment and savouring the simple pleasures of a blue sky, a calm sea, busy birds on our feeders and the joy of finding early spring flowers dotted around garden.

Snowdrops in the lawn and in clumps in the borders, primroses in the wildflower patch and in borders, violets and muscari in the cracks and crevices in the paving. We have divided clumps of snowdrops and spread them around the garden (post-flowering) in recent years but the violets, muscari and primroses appear where they want to and we’re happy to let them do their thing. Spears of the narcissi I planted in the lawn under the window where I sit at my desk are around 20cm tall so those will be flowering in the next few weeks and the new tulips in pots are coming up. The tulips in the borders are a little behind but they’re pushing through the soil and there are bluebell leaves already carpeting the area under the cherry tree by the bottom gate.

There is so much floral loveliness to look forward to but in the meantime I’m enjoying the bright sunshine colour of these daffs (4 bunches in tight bud for £3 at the market on Saturday which opened within 24 hours in the warmth indoors) and a small posy of tiny spring flowers I picked in the garden this morning – violets, primroses, snowdrops and a single muscari. I seared their stems for a few seconds in boiling water to hopefully keep them looking perky for a few days. For more flower therapy, do visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other garden bloggers from around the world have found to put in their Monday vases today.

It’s half term this week and my younger two are off school. My first-born has also come home from university for a few days for home cooking and laundry services. He’s still in bed (I think he misses his bed most of all) but my younger son is out having a driving lesson and my daughter is in town with a friend so all is quiet here. I can hear a robin singing its heart out in the garden and the soft snore of my dog dozing after a good walk this morning. It should be a fairly laid-back week with a few appointments and commitments but plenty of time to catch up. I have an appointment at the fracture clinic on Friday (oh, I am counting down the days) and I’m daring to hope that the cast will come off at last. I’m eager to start strengthening exercises so I can get busy in the garden as soon as possible. My secateurs are calling me!

Wishing you a thoroughly good week.