In defence of February

Everyone has their own most loved and hated months. While for Chaucer, Browning and others April was a time of joyful rebirth, it was of course for Eliot ‘the cruellest month’. Still, February tends to get a bad rap from everybody. It manages to be both the shortest and longest month of the year. In theory the days are getting longer, and yet the darkness of the previous night and the next morning blur, making for a grim nocturnal existence. It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl or a morning lark, in February you’re commuting from work in the dark. Still, better than midwinter isn’t it? Hardly. The glamorous,

It’s all about the blooms: eye-catching blossom to spot this spring

There is no finer sight in spring than a blossom tree. Planting one is, to my mind, a public service, as it will cheer generations of people plodding down your street, both with the blooms that appear on its branches, and with the confetti of petals thrown along the pavement. In the next few weeks, the streets are going to become incredibly well-dressed with blossom, and here are five to look out for in particular:  Mimosa, Acacia dealbata  This is already out in London, and my goodness, you can’t miss it. It is the most vivid lemon yellow collection of little pompoms you can imagine, bursting out of beautiful ferny