Spring awakening.

As hail pelted against my windows last Sunday, the first day of March, I thought of the old saying: ‘If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.’ Although a benign April would certainly be a treat, what is true is that everything in the countryside moves forward with real purpose once March starts, whatever the weather.

The length of each day is currently increasing by some four minutes, but this will rapidly accelerate so that we will have gained about an hour’s extra light per day in only a fortnight’s time. Together with a gentle increase in temperature, this will kickstart Nature out of its dormant state and the heroic winter flowers will give way to a mass of daffodils and other spring blooms.

Before we know it, the clocks will be changing at the end of the month and we’ll be hurtling towards summer, cuckoos, swallows and peacock butterflies. The best thing about March is that it’s not February—every day, there’s a little more light in the evening sky, a little more to do in the garden and a lot more to look forward to.