John’s Garden

For most gardeners, bleakest midwinter conjures up visions of log fires, roasting chestnuts and hot toddies, but for John Massey it rekindles dreams of the flowers he will rediscover when, at daybreak, he strolls through his canal-side garden, his collie Daisy at his side. ‘Every day brings new flowers, so I’ve always a reason to go outside,’ he says. Never more so than at dawn, as fingers of sunlight ease through naked branches to awaken reflections of blazing dogwood whips and silvery grasses to ghost across the limpid waters of the canal. Turning homewards, he marvels at the colour of witch hazels, their spidery-shaped flowers glowing in the brittle sun, whilst the ground is peppered with tiny flowers. ‘This time of year is magical, and I've time to appreciate it.'

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