There is a need for a little extravagance, a need for a treat after the long winter. Christmas is suitable positioned in mid-winter to give us respite from the long weeks of darker and colder weather, a much-appreciated rest and a time to indulge, even over indulge, in the comfort of family company, of good eating and drinking, of relaxing for a while and simply enjoying life.
Winter is past; we are leaving behind the days of sparse interest in the garden and are now not only moving but dashing into an outburst of new growth and abundant displays of flowers. The contrast with leaner days does boost our appreciation of what is on offer at the moment; it isn’t quite the full displays of the height of summer but it has a freshness, a brightness and, certainly, a welcome far greater than the simply expected show of summer when anything other than full blast flowering would be disappointing. The first good show of the year is always especially appreciated and we are in those days at this moment.
Magnolias, daffodils, primulas, trilliums, epimediums, anemones, erythroniums, muscari, chionodoxa and other odds and ends – each a welcome first of the year – are a delight and feel like a feast after a famine, appreciated all the more for their contrast to days when we were without flowers – I have discounted the snowdrops which kept me interested all through the winter, from late September to the end of March, for they are a white flower, a winter flower, and the return of blues, yellows, reds,pinks, maroons etc comes as a welcome novelty and contrast. Yes, it is a time of plenty in the garden, a time of great interest and colour and a time when there is plenty of work to be done.
Let’s have a look what has been in flower in these last few days – to go further back would be a little awkward at the moment as my laptop, a new laptop, has been returned for repair and photographs before the 24th are on an external hard drive and this old machine would struggle to manage the volume of images there. So, from the last five days only and missing plants in flower before then. Click on the first image to begin a slideshow:
Magnolias are wonderful trees to give a display at this time of the year. There is always the fear that the blossom will be scorched by frost but we have been fortunate this year and there has been no damage at all.
Daffodils are without doubt the most enjoyed flowers of this time of the year and have been enjoyed for centuries.
The primrose is one of our most treasured native flowers and the many forms and cultivars of primulas are valued garden plants:
For many years I struggled to grow trillium with any success. Purchased trilliums – and they were always expensive! – simply lingered in the garden, failing to thrive and were a constant disappointment. A few plants received from kind gardening friends changed all that and I now have several thriving clumps, particularly of T. chloropetalum, T. albidum and T. kurabayashi and all are producing seedlings in the garden. Indeed, I planted out 85 young plants of T. albidum last year and look forward to seeing them in flower in another year or two – the first of them are going to flower this year.
Finally, a collection of odds and ends, bits and pieces in flower at the moment in the garden. The weather this past week has been very pleasant and we have managed long days in the garden and each day has brought new plants into flower. It really is a wonderful time of the year!