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" /> Winter flowers are cheering me up here in my Lewes garden. – Wolfie Wolfgang

Winter flowers are cheering me up here in my Lewes garden.

My first daffodil of the year started to flower yesterday here in my small Lewes town garden. It looks a sad but plucky little thing on a sunny but cold February day but it is not entirely alone.

The snowdrops are still going strong and there are plenty of signs of flowers to come in the surge of green.

This unusual variety of snowdrop, I think it is Swiss, came in a small batch I bought decades ago. Just one plant survived in the urn that I have moved with me over the years but, this year, well thrillingly for me if no one else, I have a new addition. I’m hoping that next year I will get even more new ones. I have always loved its chunky grey/green leaves and its extra large blooms that dangle satisfyingly pendulously beneath steely stems.

Not that my rare snowdrops detract from the other, more common varieties. The delicate upright type may be more familiar but it has a purity and perky freshness that speaks to me of bravery in adversity.

My single daffodil is not the only yellow out there because the winter flowering jasmine is still going strong as are the two urns of primroses that started to flower in December. Winter flowers have a special place in my affections arriving as they do when all my hopes and resolutions for the year ahead are at their most optimistic. If they can look so cheerful at this time of year, well, then so should I.

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