I’ve written before about the is-it-isn’t-it way that spring is beginning this year. I’m certainly not the only one to have noticed: everytime we get a bit of sun and warmth and think “at last!” the weather sends a frigid blast down our necks.  and, although this week is scheduled to have some (rather more seasonable) warmth, next week is going to have another cold spell – hopefully, winter’s last hurrah. As Metcheck.com writes:

“A bit of a turnaround in the weather over the next week as we go from wet and windy to mild and sunny, then back to cold and snowy. Trust us, this could only happen in the UK.

It’s the result of what we call a Meridional Jet Pattern. Over the past few weeks we’ve had a active jet with areas of low pressure screaming in from the Atlantic. The first “buckle” in the jet occurred last week as Gale Quintessa hung around for ages, trapped in an upper vortex. This week, the opposite occurs as the jet retreats North and high pressure builds in under the upper ridge.

By the end of the week, we’re heading back into trough country and low pressure will race in from the North-west, deepen and drag down some cold Northerly air.

Models are starting now to agree that the change will happen, there is of course some disagreement in the intensity and exact track, however the terms swings and roundabouts as far as the weather is concerned has never quite been so apt.”

So if you’re a gardener: be warned!

With all that in mind, i think nature is holding out too. there’re some preliminaries going on, but i know, as a gardener, that the best way to know when to plant things is to look around and see what good ol’ momma nature is doing. So. here are some of the observations from this afternoon’s ramble (behind the cut as always), which lead me to conclude that while momma nature might get fooled occasionally, next week’s cold blast will be winter’s last hurrah. So i don’t know about anyone else but i shall be planting accordingly!

a bud! This, i think, is a humongous bud – from a magnolia tree? Not sure what it is, but i do know it gives forth the most wonderful large creamy blossoms later in spring. can’t wait!
This perky lil flower with the lovely colour is an early visitor near us – there’ll be lots of these in about a week.
more budding
Some greenery! at last! (and its not grass!)
you can see this tree is starting to send buds forth.. another one i can’t wait to see fully green. 
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