We spent half of January in Mexico, a trip I'll be recording on my travel blog. It's the ideal time for a gardener to take a winter break.You leave your garden stripped of all colour except the various greens of moss and a few shrubs, and return to find spring bulbs already in bloom.
Snowdrops and winter aconites are among the first,
... along with the earliest of the Hellebores.
A few Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' are open too, always the first daffodil to bloom.
And of course, some of the little snow crocus are up, ready to open their flowers at the first ray of sunshine, whenever that will be. So far February has been unremittingly cloudy and rainy.
One of my favourites is 'Firefly', here looking a bit bedraggled after a downpour. When it does open, it reveals the fiery red stamens that suggest where it got its name.