Monday, 15 January 2018

Glimpses of hope

The weather around here has been continuously grey and overcast, and at times the atmosphere has been suffused with a fine misty drizzle. There was a brief glimpse of sunshine yesterday but it has been chased away by the return of a day of heavy rainfall, calling a halt to the boundary hedge trimming I’d made a start on. 

But there are signs of encouragement out and about. We are now in mid-January and it won’t be long before final soil preparations and the first of the new year’s sowings get under way. The days are noticeably lengthening, clumps of snowdrops are beginning to appear, daffodil shoots are poking through and buds on shrubs are starting to swell. 
Near to our back door we have some sarcococca (Christmas Box) bushes and their easily overlooked flowers, out now, are giving off the most amazing scent. 

Sarcococca confusa or Christmas Box.
year at this time its scent fills
 the air 
as you pass by.

Whilst there is still quite a bit of the winter still to go and caution is warranted, this all helps to lift the spirits and encourages us to look forward towards the forthcoming growing season. 

One other encouraging sign was yet another reserve army of ladybirds I found today hibernating in the log shelter. Hopefully they will survive the winter and mobilise in the spring  against aphids and other pests. A welcome sight and welcome residents for their contribution as a natural pest control.


  1. Oh I'd forgotten about Christmas Box. We had one at the smallholding by the path up and down to the farm buildings and it was lovely to catch the scent every day.
    I need one here now you've reminded me - though they are very slow growing.

    Hope they are proper British ladybirds and not the nasty Harlequins.

  2. Yes, native ladybirds! Although I have seen harlequins about.