(cue air guitar)
Earlier in the week, a hard overnight frost gave way to clear blue skies and sunshine. Warm, zesty spring sunshine, that put a bounce in my step all day.
Rather miraculously, this fine sunny day coincided with a day of working from home; thus at lunchtime I slipped eagerly into the garden to take a quick peep at the world, and luxuriate in the surprisingly warm sun, when I was stopped in my tracks by a glimpse of vibrant purple.
Not just one, but several, clumps of my favourite and first Crocus, still rather unfortunately named ‘Negro Boy’, had burst out of the ground almost overnight – or since the weekend, at least.
I love the rich velvety saturated depths of these purple goblets; surely the most regal Crocus to be found? Along with deep ruby red, this must be one of my favourite colours, and quite unusual in the garden, particularly at this time of year.
Their petals are polished to a high shine, so that their tips almost seem to be dipped in white as they gleam in the sun, wrapped around contrasting stamens of a rich egg-yolk orange. Last year they were keenly visited by discerning bees, though I haven’t seen any yet this month.
Apparently I planted a young Stipa tenuissima right on top of this clump. Oops.
I had been (rather impatiently) canvassing the border for signs of these beauties for weeks; although last year I recorded their first appearance on March 10th, so they were clearly quite on schedule. I’ve been paying the most attention to the largest clump of these lovely striped leaves, which funnily enough turns out to be one of the last to flower, having not even pushed up buds yet. Since it has been raining almost non-stop for the past few days, and is unlikely to stop any time soon, I hope they manage to bide their time for the next sunny spell, so that at least some will escape being beaten to the ground by the incessant rain.
When I could tear my eyes away from these splendid flowers, I found more of the smaller and gentler violet Crocus tommasinianus continuing to pop out of the crown of this plant across the garden, positively glowing with the sun behind them.
Aren’t they beautiful too? And you mustn’t for a moment think that I am neglecting the lovely golden Crocus ‘Zwanzenburg Bronze’, which continue to light up the garden.
But I can’t keep my eyes off these boys, with their swagger. Welcome back; the pleasure is all mine.
Now, if only the sun would come back too.