At this time of year it is a comparatively inexpensive luxury to have a vase or two of tulips around the house. Not being a natural flower arranger, I like flowers that can be jammed into a vase or jug with little ceremony, to bring a relaxed beauty to the room. I sometimes think they are even more lovely after they have passed their full bloom, and start to fade a little. The petals unfurl and become transparent, the powdery stamen is revealed; the stems slowly acquire a graceful swan neck curve.
Outside, despite the freezing temperatures, the tulips planted last autumn are pushing through the cold earth. I tend not to pick the garden tulips, preferring to leave them in situ, and continue with shop bought bunches for the house throughout spring.
There are also red fronds appearing on the climbing roses outside the kitchen window, the first outward signs of new growth. The snowdrops too, are in full bloom, and each year are even more beautiful than I remember from the year before. I transplanted some clumps last year, and they are thriving in their new spot. I may repeat the process this year; to have such beautiful flowers blooming in the neglected spot behind our garage seems a bit of a waste.