Once again, our village tea shop offered the perfect destination for a chilly afternoon walk. What can be nicer than a warm drink and a chat with a good friend to kick off the new week? Hurrying home afterwards, I was stopped in my tracks by these trembling glimmers of hope just beginning to bloom in an otherwise bleak winter garden.
The first snowdrops, or galanthus nivalis, of the season, remind us to hope for spring even while the skies are still grey and our forecasters are mumbling something about snow later in the week. It is said that soldiers in the Crimean war were so touched by these seasonal harbingers that they brought the bulbs back for their English gardens once the war was over. We have some in a protected corner of our garden already, but there was something unexpectedly brave and heartening about these little guys pushing up through open ground.