It seems a bit like spring in winter. Lesser periwinkle and barren strawberry bloom earlier than last year. The yellow flowers of coltsfoot are also ready to sprout. What is special about this plant, is that it flowers before the leaves appear, just like the blackthorn. The dried leaves of coltsfoot used to be mingled with syrup and sugar to make cough drops. Hence the scientific name “Tussilago” (chasing away cough). On the flowering hazel, the male, yellow hanging catkins catch the eye. Look for the less conspicuous pretty little female red flowers just on top of the catkins, they do not have any petals.