I stop and inspect the Lonicera Fragrantissima that is growing between the lychgate and the shed every time I ramble through the garden at this time of year. This is a shrubby honeysuckle that doesn’t climb, and has the most beautifully fragrant white flowers in late winter and early spring, and on today’s inspection I was rewarded with a glimpse of the first flower (although I struggled to get it into fcus – apologies!). The plant doesn’t have anything to recommend itself except for the flowers, as it has a rather scrubby and open habit, but it redeems itself for the few weeks that it is in flower, which I am sure is usually earlier than this.
The other ‘first’ is a glimpse of yellow narcissus – not amidst the swathes planted last year but in a raised and neglected bed outside the front door. More than likely they are ‘Tête-à-Tête’, to match what is normally planted in the troughs on the front wall of the house; this year, however, I broke with tradition and replanted the troughs with ‘Pencrebar’ along with the now rather tatty viola, but the former are barely poking their heads through yet. Looking at this photo, I ought to treat the viola to a trim – they deserve more attention than they get!