Three Seagulls


I am not sure how I feel about the new convention of naming winter storms. Is it just me, or could it be that since the Met Office introduced the practice we’ve experienced a lot more severe weather? And did the general public, via social media, genuinely choose the name Desmond for the weather system that wreaked havoc in the North West before Christmas? I am suspicious. The christening of hurricanes I can live with, given they are rarer and more memorable events in the British Isles, but I fear with the amount of windy weather we experience in the UK we will soon be scraping the bottom of the barrel for names. How long will it be before Storm Torquil or Storm Esmeralda causes devastation and flooding across vast swathes of the country I wonder? At least we won’t forget those, although certain newspapers may struggle to spell them.

Anyway, I am in quarantine today. No one want my germs, certainly not my work colleagues. Outside in the garden Storm Imogen is busy jet-washing the terrace and tearing off magnolia petals. She giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. The pond is so full of white blossom and dried bamboo leaves I can scarcely tell what’s a fish and what’s flotsam and jetsam.

Galanthus 'Seagull', London, February 2016

After yesterday’s greenhouse skirmish I though I had better not push my luck, so I dashed out in my dressing gown for 30 seconds to inspect the cold frame and found my precious Galanthus ‘Seagull’ already in bloom. Taking pity I carried the pot inside to enjoy the flowers’ delicate fragrance whilst I languished on the sofa. My Β£20 investment for a single bulb has paid off and I am now the proud owner of three large flowers held on long, elegant stems. I did very little, apart from keep the pot cool, moist and sheltered, to collect my first payback. The flowers will not last long if I keep them inside. As soon as Storm Imogen abates the pot will go back outside, where I hope the bulbs will bulk up sufficiently for me to plant them out in the garden for spring 2018. My solitary seagull will have become a flock and my bank balance might just have recovered from the initial outlay. The question now is whether I’ll invest in more snowdrops. The writing’s on the wall.

N.B. This is a good instance of when an iPhone camera, or this particular user of one, really isn’t up to the job. Snowdrops are tricky to photograph at the best of times, and easier to capture with a decent macro lens. Forgive me, I am poorly after all.

Galanthus 'Seagull', London, February 2016