No snow yet, so the birds are finishing up the last of the berries and feasting on fat balls we hang up for them.
In my garden the golden winter jasmine and fablously scented pink viburnum shrubs are the first to bloom as we put away the Christmas decorations. Yellow forsythia branches are swift to come out indoors and look lovely with a bunch of Cornish daffodils from the local supermarket.
Nearer the ground the first spring miniatures are bursting into flower heralding the bigger flowering bulbs and plants.
While the snowdrops and crocus are late this year and just poking their heads out, in the wild patch under the fruit trees, the first primrose is out which will be followed by many more and then tiny daffodils, cowslips, fritillaries and bluebells.
I love the tiny dwarf daffodills and this sweet 'Petticoat' is flowering in a pot with 'Black Grass' (Ophiopogon). Later in the year when the daffodils have died down there should be tiny purple flowers, then black berries on the 'grass' so the pot will still look great. Since I took this photo, all the other buds have come out and this little pot of 'daffs' looks perfect.
I love iris in all the many and varied forms but am especially fond of lttle 'Reticulata'. This one is happy in one of the planters by the back door, along with miniature cyclamen which are just coming through - all earlier than those in the garden itself.
We have hellebores all over the place - they cross and seed like mad so each year it is exciting to see a 'new' seedling flower for the first time. They are terribly untidy plants but I can forgive them anything for their glorious presence so early in the year.
This is a favourite a super double white. They're shy flowers so we have to tip them up to see their faces.
And this somehow seeded and flowered happily into the smallest of cracks between house and paving.
The last pic is of 'Freckles' a delicate winter flowering clematis that clothes one of the rose arches for winter than quietly takes a back seat as the more showy roses take over for the summer.
Thank you for looking