It has been wet. And windy. There have been torrential hail storms, and the sullen skies have been raked by fingers of lightning, cracking and booming. The garden has been laid quite low.
Yet somehow, miraculously, the daffodils are standing proud once more, glowing in a deceptively warm spell of sunshine despite a few tatters around the edges of their petals. I apologise for yet more photos of our Rijnveld’s Early Sensation, but they have really come into their own this year, to form this chorus line along the front fence.
From just twenty-five bulbs shared along this fence and the narrow border that flanks one edge of the front lawn, the originally rather sparse groupings have begun to flow together to create this ribbon of gold. Other narcissi around the garden are in various stages of growth; some still green shoots, others topped with slender green buds.
Many of the tulips in the ground have pushed up distinct rosettes of foliage, several inches high, while the new ones that I planted in pots in the autumn are rosy beaks just pushing through the soil.
The first Crocus chrysanthus ‘Zwanenburg Bronze’ that erupted weeks ago in the front beds have melted in the wind and rain, but in the back garden there are several small clumps just opening up. Apologies for more repetition here, but they are such a fleeting treasure, and I love their tiger stripes.
The snowdrops that I planted in the last couple of years, mostly divisions from my Mum’s garden, are starting to clump up a little this year. The snowdrop is a sociable plant, at its best in clusters and carpets, and I am thrilled that already ours are looking a little less solitary.
A couple of winter heathers that we rescued from the original garden are looking pretty in pink, at the edge of the path.
And our first hellebores are finally coming in to bloom.
I added a handful of hellebores to the garden two winters ago; the Corsican hellebore and Helleborus x sternii bloomed beautifully last year, but H. niger and the hybrids pushed up nothing but glossy leaves, so it is particularly rewarding to see these first flowers. A few more plants added last year look as though they too are now biding their time in their first winter, so I must wait for another year to see them bloom. Gardening certainly rewards the patient…