These beautiful and vibrant camellia flowers have burst out in my garden this weekend - a sure sign Spring is just around the corner, even the sunshine feels warmer today.
These flowers are part of a large camellia tree, which was planted in 1962 as a wedding anniversary present by my children's great-grandparents. And although the camellia needs a little help with support now, and the couple who planted it have since passed on, it provides a wonderful reminder of the love between the people who planted it.
The Central Library in Liverpool, originally built in the 1860's with expansions in 1879 and 1906, has been extensively remodelled starting in 2010, reopening to the public in 2013.
Standing on the pavement looking up the building you would be forgiven for thinking the inside of the building would reflect the Victorian architecture and design - however, you would be mistaken!
Inside the library is a bit like an Escher drawing with stairs criss-crossing each other towards a curved wood and glass dome. It is open, fresh and exciting.
It is easy to imagine gardens during the winter being bare and colourless places - but with careful plant selection, it is possible to provide a striking and beautiful array of colours and textures, as these photos of the gardens at Chirk Castle, North Wales hopefully show. The presence of many snowdrops and the shooting up of bulbs show us that longed-for Spring is just around the corner.
Around the back of Chester Cathedral, tucked away in Abbey Square are a couple of very small gardens connected to the outer cathedral buildings. Last year I was walking past and couldn't help but notice the spectacular display of bright mid-summer colours from the poppies, foxgloves and dahlias. What a brilliant pop of colour and texture that was very welcome in an urban environment, The bright colours are complimented by the warm sandstone, and I imagine the butterflies and bees enjoyed the flowers too.
Yesterday I walked past again and noticed that the garden benefited from winter colour too - with delicate, pale hellebores and bright daffodils (which I seem to have missed the best of - not something I would expect at the beginning of February!).