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Updated: May 24, 2022

I love winter. I love crisp, bright days, the low light of December and the tracings of branches across the sky; but this winter has been testing. Seemingly endless, dull, dreich days have sapped me and I am ready for the ‘green fuse’ of spring.

Yesterday was one of those rare sunlit days and I went for a wander to Thelnetham fen in search of signs of spring. I could hear the rallying ‘tea –cher’ of the Great Tit and a wren was briskly flitting among the alder roots, bristling with impatience. The honeysuckle, always the first to show new life was sprouting soft, downy leaves and the buds of willow and oak are beginning to plump. Such sights lift the clouds.

I keep wandering hopefully around the garden too and, amongst the leaf litter, the spikes of the snowdrops are bursting through and a few brave crocus cup the sunshine.

I pulled out my copy of the “The Secret Garden” today, looking for the passages where Mary and Dickon plant roots and bulbs in autumn and how in spring the garden flourishes under their diligent care. It is the most evocative description of how from the darkness of winter, ‘Magic’ returns. We share the wonder of Colin’s return to life as they show him the treasures of their garden:

“They brought him things to look at –buds which were opening, buds which were tight closed, bits of twig whose leaves were just showing green, the feather of a woodpecker which had dropped on the grass…”

Although, nothing comes close to the joy of the book, the film has a beautiful sequence of the garden’s awakening from winter to spring and, in case you need a little green boost, this might help.

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