There's always a false dawn around this time of year, but I can't help but wonder if winter is turning. I'm noticing how much lighter it is in the mornings and evenings, for one. I'm writing in London at the end of a beautiful day. It's five o clock and the sun is gently setting over Queen Square.
Of course, one day of warm sunshine doesn't mean spring - we all know there is nothing like the harshest winds of March to shock us all (and the garden). But there's nothing like a day of warm sunshine to give you a sense of things to come.
Charlie and I were at Wardington. The morning was sensational... and before breakfast I took my camera for a walk in the garden. There had been a hard frost but it was fast burning off.
The gates were magnificent in the haze, casting long shadows over the lawn.
I walked across from the house to the flower field, where Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld run the fantastic Land Gardeners. You'll remember I wrote about the flower field back in the Autumn when the dahlias were at their craziest. It's good to see the structure of such places in the middle of winter.
Tulips are on their way:
In between perfectly pruned rows of roses:
The Land Gardeners provide seasonal English cut flowers to florists across London. In the summer, Bridget and Henrietta cut flowers at dawn and they are in London before the rest of us have woken up. There is nothing as fresh and scented like it.
If you want to get a taste of what they're up to, I suspect you might enjoy the land gardeners' new blog here... even if it makes rather amusing references to the size of my garden fork, and even if Bridget makes false aspersions as to who planted the paperwhites at the Old Parsonage.... it's a very good read and the best way to follow the trials and tribulations of growing flowers at home.
I came inside, freezing cold, to find Charlie and Somers having breakfast. You can't really go wrong with a smile like that.
A perfect Sunday morning. Thank you Elworthys, as always.
Just before I sign off - Zoe and I are looking for a studio assistant in the office. If you haven't already noticed the ad on the right of the blog page, please check out more details here. If you think you've got exactly what it takes to help our busy team, and especially Zoe (who runs the practice), would you get in touch with Zoe? Or if you think you know the perfect person for us, please pass on the details to them. We're interviewing in March.
Also, a technical note. I've seen from a couple of recent comments on the blog that some people are only seeing half a photo when the blog loads up. If that happens, can I suggest pressing the 'refresh' button in your internet browser window, and they should resize correctly. If you have any idea of what I'm talking about, that should work. On my mac, it's a little round arrow on the top right of the screen.
I'll talk to Colin in the technical department to see if we can come up with a more permanent fix.