Snowdrops have suddenly appeared in small clusters around the allotment site, leading the way ahead of the daffodils, hyacinths and tulips which too are beginning to show, signalling that spring really is on the way.

I still have a good crop of leeks to harvest and the purple sprouting broccoli, broad beans and garlic are resuming growth now that the temperature is a little warmer. As I begin to prepare the beds for planting I am joined by a robin looking for worms and a couple of wrens have also appeared. They are another of our native bird species that stay with us throughout the winter.

I have built a new raised bed into which I shall transplant a couple of currant bushes, since they do not like to have their roots in water.  An old book that I acquired on growing soft fruit suggests placing a layer of branches in the trench to help with drainage before adding the compost, which I shall try.

Another new addition to the plot is a Victoria plum tree, which is a popular variety as these trees are self-fertile so they do not have to rely on another tree to be in flower at the same time for pollination