February ramblings

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The month got off to a cold and gloomy start, although not for me as I was in India… Wondering where the sun had gone I went to Snowdrop Day at Goodnestone House, which probably came a week or two too early. Half the snowdrops were stoutly refusing to show themselves and the winter aconites sensibly kept their petals closed against the wintry chill. I’ll return again, though, to admire the garden in its unspoilt setting; still, perhaps, much as Jane Austen might have seen it when she walked there.

A few days later and I was too warm in my winter jacket as I walked by the sea at Ramsgate; sparkling sun reflecting off a flat calm sea. By the middle of the month the blackthorn was bursting into flower, even on the exposed windy ridge of Beacon Hill.

The month’s end saw the grass on the lawn get its first cut of the year and I had cause to regret not planting the beautiful miniature iris somewhere closer to the house where I could actually appreciate it. March, though, brought the welcome sight of an early primrose on a sunny bank near the Stour. The birds are in nesting mood, gathering moss, feathers and occasionally inappropriate and outsize pieces of foliage. Pairs of blackbirds, sparrows and robins have staked their claim on the ivy hedge and the house eaves, while those species preferring to nest in trees or bushes are going to have to wait just a little bit longer for them to put on leaf.

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