It’s still probably a bit early to do this, but today I’ve been counting the cost of the harsh winter.

As well as losing most of my geraniums, I’ve also lost my gunnera and the 2 cotoneasters in the field that we almost lost the winter before. They must have been too weak to deal with a second, destructive onslaught.

On a lighter note some delphiniums and hollyhocks that I grew from seed and planted out last year, have survived. I didn’t expect them to. I fear for the Crocosmia Solfataire, thankfully I have some in a pot that survived in the conservatory. Also the Agapanthus that I unceremoniously dug out and put into a pot last year, to stop it being overgrown, has also made it through.

Continuing with good news, the ditch is finished, or at least as finished as its going to get. We could dig deeper into the compacted, dead leaves along the bottom, but when we tried we kept disturbing toads, so decided to stop.

Potatoes, onions and shallots are planted, broad beans, peas and leeks are growing nicely in the conservatory and tomatoes in the kitchen window.

Finally, we have a very handsome male pheasant who is a regular visitor along with his 3 wives. At this time of year he is simply majestic in his Spring plumage.

But the icing on the cake for me is a pair of bullfinches, who I hope are nesting nearby. I’ve seen them eating the buds off my apple trees.  I do hope they stick around.