Looking out of the window the garden looks bright and inviting - a slight warning from the drops on the glass. Outside, the rain is coming in icy needles at a difficult angle - but still the flowers bring a sense of promise.
But thank goodness I'm back inside now that downpour is in full flow, with an edge of hail!
With gardening we learned that instant is definitely not the order of the day. I bought three snowflake plants to cheer up the entrance to the annex for my mother-in-law when she moved in 26 years ago. Now we have this magnificent clump.
We chose narcissus to be out at different stages, so that the flowering period lasts as long as possible. Dead-heading the earlies is not such a chore when there are fresh blossoms and more buds to come around.
One garden plant I had not known in my childhood, because of the lack of chalk soil, is the euphorbia family. In this garden in particular I'm delighted that the plants love it so much they self seed and grow spectacularly.
More yellows are provided by mahonia flowers, and many primroses - also self seeded. I brought only a handful from our previous garden 27 years ago, and the damp conditions underroot suit them well.
For years we have had visiting deer who find tulips delicious, and we have stuck to daffodils in order to avoid pain at seeing neatly chopped stems when anticipating the opening of buds. Now, however, we and our neighbour have fenced the whole area, so last year I planted a few species tulips, which today have braved the icy air. They go so well with their neighbouring euphorbia.
Bergenia and hellebores provide a range of pink tones, as well as all that new growth which starts out red or pink before declaring itself green.
Last year also we planted 100 fritillary bulbs in the rough grass. It is so difficult to spot them, but I have found a few. Patience once more I hope will be rewarded - I just hope that the pesky grey squirrels and the jays have not dug up too many bulbs over winter.
There is so much to admire at this time of year when the speed of growth can astonish and delight. But there is also evidence of other elements in Nature's complexity: the fox has been feasting, and frequently returns to the same patch of grass where there is evidence of a supper of crow and pigeon.
And the unnatural green stop-gap is evidence of storm Doris a couple of weeks ago when two fence panels were violently flung open like the double doored exit of a furious Boreas. It was fortunate that there were no small children going to school along the path that day as it was the half term holiday.
Isn't it curious that despite Nature's extraordinary range of greens it is so difficult to make a green that looks natural.