Finally it feels like Spring might be daring to poke its welcome head up over the parapet. While I really believe that there is something to love in every season, I am more than ready to wave goodbye to the hardness of winter this year and run headlong into a hopefully more gentle Spring. Along with Blood Oranges and Rhubarb, my favourite sign that Spring is on its way is the tiny delicate heads of snowdrops that are suddenly everywhere you look. There is something about their brave foolhardiness in appearing while the ground is still freezing cold which symbolises hope, and seeing them everywhere makes me want to clear out all my winter clothes, spring clean the house, get a new haircut, and go on the latest detox or diet ready for the new season.
I was recently told by a horticulturalist that the buying and selling of certain strains of snowdrops has become a really big deal. Known collectively as "galanthrophiles", these die-hard collectors have been known to travel the globe and pay hundreds of pounds for a single bulb. For me this feels entirely at odds with the simple nature of this tiny plant, whose pleasure lies in it's familirity, not its rarity.
This week I saw a photograph of a great swathe of snowdrops in a Berkshire wood which had blossomed despite the downpours and lack of sunshine, an incredible sight after the floods. The papers are full of terrifying news about the mess we have made of our planet, and how these storms are just the beginning. Seeing those snowdrops gave me a little feeling of hope that maybe its still fixable.
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- February 24th, 2014