While the first daffodils to flower were several weeks behind last year, the crocus seem to be a couple of weeks early.
The sunny golden flowers of our first crocus have faded; superseded by a second wave of flowers which have just begun to open. Once again, I am entranced this year by the deep shimmering midnight-purple of Crocus vernus ‘Negro Boy’.
Such beautiful deep tones. In the autumn I also added C. chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’, whose flowers are white on the inside, but washed with purple on the outside.
I also added some more of the large Dutch Crocus, the beguiling white C. vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’. I almost bought several pots of these in flower last spring when I saw them outside a grocers in a nearby market town, but I stopped myself, instead noting their name and ordering up these corms in the autumn. I could justify more plants that way!
These are noticeably taller than our other crocus, the fully extended flowers standing far above their stripy foliage. I was not expecting the purple lines that grace their neck, but it is a pretty embellishment on the otherwise pure white chalices of these flowers, and complements our other crocus varieties rather well…
At long last, our Helleborus niger has also begun to open fully – though somewhat off the mark as far as its title of ‘Christmas Rose’ goes! Its leaves are a little burnt and frayed, perhaps I should have cut them back a month or two ago, but they barely detract from the delicate pink-kissed flowers in which the plant is now bedecked. The buds have been held rigidly close to the crown of the plant for two months or more, until suddenly now they have relaxed and unfurled to smile out at the garden – unlike the hybrid hellebores nearby whose flowerheads hang down to the earth.
The primroses are also out in full flower now, making the most of the sunshine when it comes. Such cheerful spring flowers, they always make me smile. Spring really does seem to be getting into its stride here now.