Signs of Spring?

Happy new year and a wonderful start to 2024 for all our readers.  For most of us the start of January has been decidedly and unforgettably wet with the conditions often affecting our ability to make it out into our gardens or the countryside.  Lawns have become sodden, digging is not possible, and we know from customer emails that some of your gardens are literally underwater.
We are well known for our obsession with the weather in this country, often berating the conditions and wishing for better days, and yet it is our temperate climate that makes our beautiful gardens famous the world over and with such potential to grow a wide variety of plants from all corners of the earth.
With the new year upon us signs of life are starting to appear in the borders.  Snowdrops are pushing up through the leaf litter (pictured), their green noses sampling the cold air and inevitably attracting the comment ‘signs of spring’, but with the first ‘true’ day of winter falling on 21st of December they’re no more the sign of spring than a rose is the sign of autumn.  There’s a meme on the internet that calls those early days of January ‘Fool’s Spring’  when the sun’s apricity tricks us into believing it's late March.  Is it foolishness, wishful thinking, or optimism?
With Genus HQ tucked away in the Cotswold countryside we’ve come to accept and enjoy all of the four seasons each with its own character, benefits, and beauty.  Wet weather in winter is the time for working under glass, clearing, tidying, and planning, or for getting in the shed cleaning, sharpening, and servicing tools.  When the rain stops it’s up a ladder to prune fruit trees, tie in climbing roses, or put up nesting boxes.  Each season has its own character and all four of them make up the annual rhythm that puts us lucky gardeners in touch with the real world and all it has to offer.