One of the many delights of gardening is the observation of changes with the seasons. There's always something to look forward to.
Never has this been more important than during the past twelve months, with the ongoing pandemic. Gardens can offer hope and assurance for the future, for they are timeless and unaffected by the daily crises of life.
For instance, earlier this week I noticed tiny green leaves emerging from a dormant Hellebore - also known as the "Winter Rose" as it blooms in winter - I was very excited with this confirmation that winter is not all that far away (yes, winter is my favourite season).
Then just this morning, a further sign of seasonal change - the first lily stem rising from a dormant clump of Amaryllis Belladonna. We know them as Easter lilies (at Easter, I have them in a vase with sprays of fine white aster) but they are also known as the Jersey Lily, or Naked Ladies, as the naked stems emerge and flower, before the leaves are evident. Native to Cape Province in South Africa, Easter Lilies don't like to be disturbed and my clump has been in the same spot for over 70 years, as it was here when my parents lived in this house.
Now each day I will see the signs of change, as more vigorous stalks thrust their way exuberantly upwards, undaunted by our changing world.