This is what gardening is all about - anticipation!

Dahlias - one of the boldest plants you can grow .

GARDENING: Brian Kidd is planning for summer with dahlias

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Last weekend, as I looked out over the garden in daylight for the first time in five days, I was astonished to see how different it looked. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but think it was because the high winds had taken a good number of the remaining leaves off the sycamore tree at the back.

This made the garden look so much lighter, but also more stark. The winter does really take its toll on the garden.

The bird feeder had fallen over and the squirrels had had their fill.

The robin was still happily flitting about the garden, staking his ownership of the land.

And if the odd movement in the compost heap was anything to go by, the mice have moved back in again.

On clearing a small area of failed aubergine plants, I did spot a beautiful green frog, which lifted my spirits.

It gave me hope for next year and I remembered the excitement of planning and growing seeds for the new season.

With this in mind, I consulted some of my many gardening books from the comfort of my own warm kitchen, and started planning what to grow for next year.

Crop rotation, fertilising and germination were all covered and it helped me remember why I love growing things so much.

I started imagining the garden in full bloom, a long cane construction for beans and mange tout and a handful of hearty courgette plants for plentiful harvests.

This is what gardening is all about – the anticipation!