Not to worry though, the rain is sure to come soon (in fact, by the time this story is out we may have already had our first shower) and the carpet of green will soon pop its head up and start colouring in the landscape once again. Followed shortly after no doubt by the odd wild & wonderful flower. Then we have the almond blossom in February to look forward to and the peak of what could be thought of as the buzzing 'flower power' festival in spring.

For now though, it's slim pickings. Except, I noticed the other day, from somebody who, let's just say I can't imagine is anybody's cup of tea. I myself have a very ambiguous relationship with it. After all, it's hard to like something that claws you at any given opportunity (and without even the slightest provocation) and whose fallen prickles left lying on the ground go straight through your slippers and into your foot (I know, I know.. what am I doing wearing slippers in the garden?).

I’m talking, of course, about the wild asparagus. You must have seen or even come into painful contact with this green beast of a bush yourself, although possibly you didn’t know it was asparagus. I guess even the worst monster has some good points (along with its many, many painful pointy points) and in the springtime after it rains, if you are quick and have a keen eye (I can't usually see them for the life of me), then you can spot the new shoots shooting up and, if you pick them in time, it not only stops them growing up to prick you in later life, they also go very nice with your dinner (although it’s a little ‘bitter’ about it).

But back to the story, and how I found out another way in which, I guess, it's not so bad. I was out walking the other day (this time with boots on) when I kept seeing these bright white patches shining out in striking contrast to the straw coloured ground everywhere around it.

Stripped of its usual green foliage, I wasn’t even sure what it was as I approached. But lo and behold, this bristling badass was providing the much needed nectar for the grateful honey bees and also had a wonderful sweet smell emanating from it.

Make no mistake, it was still ferocious, but it's skeletal white appearance and the fact that it's apparently cut off from what all the other flowers are doing at this time of year, made me think of it as an Ivory Tower.

There were also green berries hanging from it which I suppose will act as food for the birds and serve to spawn a new generation of these particularly pernicious prickles.

So, there we go. I don’t think I will ever be able to bring myself to say that I’m a fan. However, I have to hand it to them, they do look pretty and smell very sweet at the moment…