I have a bubbling feeling every time I walk outside at the moment. At first I was a bit alarmed, I couldn't work out what it was and why I was feeling this way. Then I realised, this feeling is called excitement and it comes over me every time I go into the garden. For the first time in years I am feeling inspired again and am filled with the possibilities of what can be done out there. Once upon a time long, long ago, I used to be a gardener and then garden writer and it has taken me a seriously long time to view the act of gardening as fun... I think it is here though - yippee.
The top photo is of my Wintersweet (or Spice Bush), Chimonanthus praecox . In my family it is a little bit magical, a favourite of my mum and granny. Traditional lore has it that from planting, it takes seven years to flower. My plant in New Zealand however has been dowsed with them annually, ever since its little roots first uncurled into the farm's soil. The fragrance is unlike anything imaginable, both in strength and deliciousness. Not the most attractive bush for the majority of the year (don't let them hear you say that), but makes up for it with its little waxy flowers (some of us need a bit of extra personality).
The next photo is of our rampant mizuna patch. I scattered a few seeds in the summer which immediately sprouted, flowered and returned to seed. Thank goodness it has reappeared and we can now eat it at leisure.