So, just to start with something other, here is a photo of my daughter's orchid and cyclamen in Herefordshire. Cyclamen die with me but orchids, once they have found the right place are not all hard.
To here - where R has been pruning back hard the buddleia outside the kitchen window. This leaves the bird table a bit exposed until the new growth gets bigger - fingers crossed. I have done the same for the banking hedge of buddleia and all the prunings have been either placed on the bonfire heap or some have been shoved into the ground by the top fence by R (without telling me) as a fait accompli. I have begun the weeding of the bed by the decking and pond removing carex pendula seedlings and other undesirables. Then I dumped a barrow load of old compost on the top.
After that I bolstered the ponds by blocking one or two leaks and giving the frogs an ideal environment to add to the bucketsful of spawn already produced. We have a few wallflowers out now as above and here is the beginning of pulmonaria flowering perforated by daffs. The garden is exploding with vegetation.
I also tidied up the dead apple mint stems and the cut-leaved elder from which I took two experimental cuttings and shoved them into the appropriate place.
This is one of our several flowering currants coming into blossom - everything is about two to three weeks early! This is because of the mild weather (and the incessant rain).
This does not seem to deter the birds from guzzling all day though when I fill the feeders there is a skerfuffle of wings as the take to the trees. All that remains as evidence can be one small down feather on the paving. Working in the garden is still something I am not dashing out to do in this damp winter. Last night I dashed out to a poetry group and today I dined out with my friend NC before visiting a secondhand bookshop in Windermere. We arrived after 1pm and were his first customers of the day. He said the winter is killing trade in the Lake District. (Well, if you want green fields and lakes you have to have a little rain now and again - BUT not all the time!) And here are some of the manured beds showing new growth - especially day lilies and white campanula.
The Winter Olympics are over and Putin's in his nest (but looking out at the nest next door where the birds are squabbling - a bit like our rookery. Apologies to those concerned - I do not intend to trivialise what must be dreadful.
My keyboard is no better and connects up when it feels like it so a new one with a wire sticking out is on the way.
I have dug out my Wainwright drawing (Alfred Wainwright - look up Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Wainwright) that he gave me years ago. He used cheap paper and it is going brown so I have done a copy and photoshopped it - put the original away in a drawer.)
Which, talking about the Lake District, makes me think the mists of the mountains may be closing in on hidden villages, Herdwick sheep at risk of removal from the fells - resulting in regrowth of scrub and finally trees to change the very man made (well the odd glacier may have been involved) scenery.
And the final cry this February to the British people is, 'Move to the high ground, physical or moral, stop building on the flood plains and to the person who answered the quiz question (thanks Private Eye) that asked in which English county was England's highest mountain? with Norfolk, come up here - we have Scafell Pike and no Broads. (That is an English use of the word, not American.)