Even at this early stage in the year, you may be treated to the sight of snowdrops, which peep over the frosted soil of woodlands, churchyards or gardens. These dainty (and deceptively hardy) flowers come into bloom as early as January, and continue to flower until March. Snowdrops are one of the first signs that winter is drawing to a close, and as a result the plant has long been viewed as a hopeful symbol of better times to come.
Despite its long history in the UK, however, snowdrops may not be native to our shores; they were not recorded as growing wild here until the late 18th century. Nevertheless, they have certainly become naturalised from garden escapees, and white snowdrop 'valleys' can now be seen across the country.