What a performer! Every year the winter-flowering cherry Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ amazes me. The leaves drop, the dark pink buds appear , then it’s quickly covered in the palest pink blossoms – described as white but definitely pinkish and so delicate.

Anyway my prunus is for all seasons with its bronze leaves in spring that turn green and finally orange in autumn before dropping. This year it didn’t shed its leaves until November so the blossoms were later in coming. But here they are in their full splendour.

They are like masses of little stars lighting the gloom of early damp mornings or afternoons when the light fades all too early. A sharp frost can knock it back for a while but it soon recovers I can’t really say I’ve noticed the tiny bitter berries that birds love. Perhaps they prefer the seeds we put out for them.

Any plant that blooms on bare wood is a joy and a fascination – I’ve always wanted a Cornus mas with its tiny yellow flowers opening along the naked stems and this year I may have space for one. In the meantime I’ll make do with the wonderful winter-flowering cherry and really pleased I planted it close to the kitchen window to appreciate it over breakfast.