Having just spent a delightful couple of hours in my garden, sucking up fallen leaves and clearing away dead and rotten foliage from deciduous plants, I couldn't help but notice the signs that spring is coming. Some trees and plants just seem too impatient to wait for the better weather.
With the birds whistling and singing, and buds forming in the Lilac's and Ribes, the rebirth that our gardens experience every spring is already clearly evident. The Verbena's have already formed clusters of small flower buds and their dark green leaves look just a little less weary than they did.
I found Ladybird sheltering on this one so carefully took her into my greenhouse where she'll be much warmer. She'll repay me later when all those nasty aphids try to make my young cuttings their home.
The Snowdrops have been busily pushing up their new green shoots since Christmas and the first of the flower buds are now visible. Another week should see some of them opening, and a couple of weeks from now, they will be in their element. As usual, I will be out there with my camera, getting down in amongst them.
So whereas the first half of winter is about watching our gardens die off into hibernation, the second half is about awakening, new growth and the promise of a joyful spring just around the corner.