A SMUDGE of colour on the floor of the grain store caught my eye as I heaved open the doors to fetch a bucket of corn for my hens. At first I thought maybe it was a sweet wrapper, but then the draught from the door blew it a yard or two, and as it landed a flash of brilliant blue revealed this was no sweet wrapper, it was a butterfly.

And what a delicate, fragile wisp of life to be waking up to the spring when outside the wind is causing the leaves in the yard to whirl and swirl and twirl in the air. A tiny butterfly would stand no chance.

But a flash of genius came to me. Doesn’t happen often but I think this was a particularly good rescue plan. I would take the butterfly over to my newly-constructed greenhouse and let it settle and dry out in there.

Now my greenhouse is the result of several days hammering and sawing (and cursing) by John to make the ideal environment for me to grow tomatoes, courgettes and peppers this summer. I think he was quietly impressed with my efforts last year to grow these vegetables in pots and at that time he did knock together a couple of raised beds.

The greenhouse is not exactly conventional, with glass or polycarbonate panels, but instead John has covered a wooden frame with heavy duty polythene. There was some concern that this might not be robust enough to stand up to gusts and winds, but it is still in one piece even after some virtually gale like conditions.

Preparing for summer I have already planted up a number of hanging baskets and these are now snuggled up in the greenhouse, protected at night by bubble wrap in case a sneaky frost damages the young plants. The warm, insulated conditions have suddenly led to the eruption of scores of bluebells among the strawberry plants. To fill the beds John had brought me sacks of leaf mould from the wood and they must have harboured bluebell bulbs. Some are just wisps of green but others are proper bulbs and I am transplanting these in the hedgerows around our paddock.

And into these cosy conditions I have carefully lifted my butterfly. Brought some flowering plants from the house for nectar. Left a shallow saucer of sugar solution for refreshment. Crossed my fingers that my butterfly will survive. Which so far it has. In fact, it seems very content snuggled up in a purple primula and not at all keen to brave the biting winds.