January plays a waiting game. Not yet time to begin cutting down last season's foliage, yet new growth is emerging and my patience is wearing thin. It's fine when there is snow on the ground or a sharp overnight frost leaves the foliage crisply crusted and shiny, as we view with envy those gorgeous photographs of gardens from colder, drier winter climates than our own displayed in all their winter whiteness.
But today my garden is all sepia, chestnut and dun, very brown and very, very wet. (I live in Wales so it would be wouldn't it, we don't get all that lovely lush green growth without the water to keep it that way.) Despite the seeming lack of interest to draw me out on such a grim day, a quick walk round the garden to the Hellebore hot spot and mini woodland under the hedge and the pond, which always gives me pleasure no matter the season or weather, I find things to get my camera out for.
This time of year my garden is all about shape and texture, vertical grasses and last year's Iris flower stems, glossy evergreen foliage, reflective rain drops held by the minute hairs of softer leaves and collapsing weaker growth which after a windswept winter and today's heavy rain just can't hold up any longer. Like me my garden is ready for a new season to begin, the birds are already pairing, zipping between trees and singing fit to burst, spring isn't far away. Not long now.