It’s flowers not florals for me this spring.

I am still wearing my coat. It is still pretty cold, at least in London. But there is something new in the air, a faint hint of early spring blown in by the blustery March winds we have been experiencing here. Or perhaps it is not really something in the air, but just the effect the shop windows have with their not-so-faint pastel messaging about their “new season” arrivals. Evidently the shop windows have the same effect on the camellias and Japanese magnolia trees as they do on me since the trees have begun to bloom despite no discernible improvement in the weather.

This is the first time I am going into a new season unable to buy anything, and early spring is the most dangerous time for me. I love buying spring dresses before it is warm enough to wear them. It is like a promise of the good things to come – a promise of sunshine to get me through the last slog of dreary days. It is so reassuring to look at a floral print dress and tell myself, ‘there will be a day when I can wear this, and it is coming soon.’

But this year, instead of floral print dresses, I am having to settle for the appearance of actual flowers to get me through to sunnier skies. One great thing about having a dog is that it forces me to get outside more often, even when it is freezing, and appreciate the early spring blooms.

Here are a few from the garden behind our flat that are attempting to cheer me up despite the persistent grey gloom.

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