Hard frosts continue to await us in the mornings. At the weekend we even awoke to a smattering of snow. My pea seedlings paw at the windows with their curling tendrils but I daren’t put them out yet. The broad beans survive against the odds in their fortress. Everyday I look out for the returning swallows. As so many have before me I will them here as a sign of warmer days. The old saying “One swallow a summer doesn’t make” brings home how much people must have yearned for these harbingers of summer after the cold dark days of long winters. But there are other signs of the cycling seasons. Celandines carpet the wood at the bottom of the garden and the verges of the path down to the river are full of forget-me-nots.