After what seems like a long winter, we are finally in the month of March and the promise of spring. The weather is brighter and the first daffodils are starting to bloom. March was the first month of the year for the Romans who named it after Mars the god of war, and 25th March (often known as Lady Day) remained as the first day of the year until a couple of hundred of years ago. Although its easy to think that winter is now over, March often has surprises in store - something the Anglo Saxons knew only too well, they named March 'Hlyd monath' - which means stormy month. Charles Dickens wrote about the changeable nature of it:
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
Despite the warnings, March is a month of much promise and growth. At Hazel Cottage, the tiny shoots of daffodils of a few weeks ago are now in bud and even a few are flowering and the redcurrant bush we planted is showing signs of budding. I keep checking the forsythia to see if any of its buttery yellow flowers are appearing yet. A delicate hellebore I planted last year is looking wonderful, although it appears a little shy, with its flowers facing away from the path as I walk past. I've decided not to take it personally though!
"The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
Joyce Kilmer, Spring