It’s time to ditch the heavy winter coats, set the central heating down a notch, and start preparing the garden because everyone’s favourite season is fast approaching. My walks home from work between 5-6pm are no longer cloaked in darkness and I’m starting to notice bulbs and blossom coming out.
Here are my most encouraging signs of spring that I’ve spotted so far.
- Snowdrops and crocuses – these short colourful plants are popping up all over the place, and I’ve even seen roadside verges full of daffodils in full bloom in the first few days of March.
- Bees – I bravely took my cup of tea out into the front garden yesterday to hang out with my cat, who was enjoyed the sunshine, though it was still a bit too chilly. Then a bee flew past my face!
- A blue tit ventured into my neighbour’s bird house. We’ve only spent one summer in this house but last year there was a family of blue tits in the little bird house on my neighbour’s wall throughout the season. I don’t think they’re nesting yet – just casing the joint.
- Cherry blossom. Nothing more beautiful nor welcome. Shame it doesn’t last long.
- Cuckoos. One of the most familiar signs of spring is the disappearance of our wintering birds and their replacement with our summer migrants. Cuckoos are some of the first to return, followed by swallows and swifts in May.
- Blackthorn – a lesser known herald of spring and all the more potent because of it. Look out for black branches and small white flowers in abundance. Happily, blackthorn bushes come not single spies, but in battalions, and you can see vast hedgerows of them along the sides of roads.