I’ve heard people say that the garden is just beginning to wake up when the snowdrops and aconites push their tiny heads up through the hard soil.

That’s even less true than it was a few decades ago when brutally hard winters stopped play for gardeners all over the country.

Our sandy garden is perfect for perennials and grasses but, since we get only the odd cold snap between murky, showery weather, much of it has to be cut down as it turns to slimy sludge. But some plants will dry out and stand up well throughout the cold season. My favourites, apart from grasses, are the monarda seedheads that you see here as well as  sedums and even the heads of agapanthus if you can remove their fat, slippery stems. Ferns too can be a veritable work of art until they give way to the dampness that overwhelms their lacy fronds.

Yes, the snowdrops are coming but some plants look wonderful rimmed with silvery frost and I wouldn’t want to miss the show.