It's been good to have a couple of days in a row to get out into the garden and to start to make serious inroads into the late winter clearing. Borders are looking much tidier and I love the way my clothes smell after a spell in the fresh air. It's like bringing the outdoors inside for a while.
In spite of the cold winter we've had, the plants can't resist making their plans for the spring. I found some fat pink buds of Dicentra spectabilis, lots of Monarda leaves pressed flat against the soil and the tiniest of miniature Lupin plants. Fingers crossed the slugs don't find the latter for a tasty snack.
Bulbs are in bud everywhere and it's high time my annual snowdrop count started. My major delight yesterday was finding the first Iris reticulata 'Katherine Hodgkin' in flower. I bought these at the plant sell-off at last year's RHS Plant and Design show in London. I was going to plant them out in the main part of the garden, but thanks to a timely article by James (with one of his other blogging hats on), I planted them in the gravel at the side of the house. They're much more visible there than the spot I'd originally chosen for them. Cheerful colour heralding the end of winter is now just a few paces away :)