Strong winds and persistent rain blast across the kitchen garden. I have my head down against its force and all I can see is wet, heavy, sodden soil in every bed. It takes all my strength to open a little gate against this angry, howling south- westerly, but once through I look up and my heart leaps with joy at the sight of the Witch Hazel in full bloom!
Flowering before even the snowdrops’ petals unfurl, this amazing shrub with its magical properties (carry a sprig with you to help mend a broken heart or use it to make a spell to remove difficult obstacles from your life), its spidery flowers and its spicy fragrance always takes me by surprise. It brings with it the hope of better weather, of sunshine and the welcome return of happy gardening days.