When the start of the year is wet and windy and the croft garden is repeatedly battered by 70-90 mph gales, I should really declare the cottage garden out-of-bounds. A walk round the garden on a cold blustery afternoon in early February is enough to depress even the most optimistic gardener. There are times when I really begin to doubt whether any of my plants will survive. The primroses do their best to add a glimmer of hope but when I see the first bright yellow blooms of Narcissus Tête-à-Tête I know that Persephone will return.
By mid-February the days are beginning to lengthen and a gift of high pressure from Scandinavia heralds an early glimpse of spring weather. Still too soon to tidy up all the dead stems, but time for some weeding and taking a peek to see if there are any signs of green shoots. By the end of the month the bulbs are emerging from hibernation and as the equinox gales approach I grow anxious as to whether they will survive. Although they may be buffeted by the storms they are amazingly resilient.
In its sparse simplicity my spring garden can not rival the sumptuous drifts of spring flowers of more southerly gardens but for me every flower is a triumph of hope over adversity.