Maybe it’s the sudden warm weather, but it feels like spring has sprung out of nowhere this year. It’s currently 9am on a mid-March morning, and I’m sat outside in the warm sun with the birds tweeting away in trees and hedgerows, the bees are making the most of the daffodils, and the frogs in the pond are in full baritone song. It’s hard not to be invigorated by a fine spring morning, for so many of you it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

 

In our recent World Book Day competition to win copies of A Year in Brambly Hedge, we asked which season is your favourite. It became very clear that spring and autumn were the most popular seasons, by a good 50% over both summer and winter. It seems the transitional seasons are the ones that inspire us most.

 

It was wonderful to see your World Book Day costumes tagged on our social media, Primrose and Poppy were the mice of choice this year, Primrose always proving popular for her spring-like name and colours, much to Wilfred’s annoyance. We just tell him that a stripey t-shirt and dungarees are timeless and on-trend all year round.

 

The mice of Brambly Hedge tend to avoid the hungry gap us humans endure, partly thanks to their fastidious preserving, pickling, and fermenting, but also because they can always find something delicious along the hedgerow in early spring. Wild garlic season is something we look forward to every year, it seems more and more people are enjoying this seasonal delicacy. At its best when the leaves are young, but the flowers are also delicious, there are so many dishes that can be created and enhanced with wild garlic, but pesto is a great place to start. Head over to the Brambly Hedge Kitchens page for a recipe.

 

On the way this spring, we have new Brambly Hedge bookmarks! We had individual bookmarks available at a few Brambly Hedge themed events last year, but now we have produced a seasonal bookmark pack. Each pack will have a bookmark for spring, summer, autumn, and winter, so whatever you are reading, you can keep it seasonal! Also on the way is our new range of notecards; the pack of eight cards and envelopes feature two illustrations, one from Autumn Story and one from Summer Story. The cards are blank inside, so can be used for any occasion. We hope for these to be available for delivery in April.

 

Exciting news for later in the year…a Brambly Hedge calendar is on the way! We have had quite a few requests from you all to produce these, and our friends at Museums & Galleries are just putting final touches to the 2023 calendar, due to be available this autumn. Keep an eye on our social media for more details on these and other Brambly Hedge items on the way.

 

New books this season include a hardback Italian edition of Spring (Primavera) Story, launching in Italy this April. The new Complete Brambly Hedge just launched in Poland, and there will be many more translation editions on the way in 2022. Our hearts go out to all our friends in Ukraine at this terrible time. Our publishers of the Ukranian editions of Brambly Hedge, Chitarium, are based in Kharkiv, and we all hope they have managed to find safety and kindness in these most awful of circumstances.

 

Spring is a time of hope, and as the first buds of blossom begin to unfurl along the hedge, we wish you all a safe and healthy spring.

 

 

Pete Barklem

 

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