In the past couple of days we have had frost, snow, sleet, hail, rain – and even a little bit of sunshine. However, despite the cold and particularly wet winter we have had, the first shoots of spring have already started to push through in the garden. This being our first spring here, it is very exciting, as I do not even know what some of them are going to be!
The clumps may be small, but I was very pleased to see these daffodils pushing through on either side of the little side gate:
There are a few other small clumps of daffodils around the garden, like this one near the front door:
Then I have a few patches of what I think might be tulips, although for some reason I didn’t really expect tulips to thrive here. I hope they are and I hope they do! They are growing in very poor, stony soil, including on the edge of the gravelly driveway.
I know that these (first photo below) are crocosmia shoots, because I did see the tail end of them flowering last year, and the second photo shows what I think are more of the same, although they are in an area that was deep in wild plum saplings that I have cleared a bit, revealing new life.
Do you remember my discovery of Madonna lilies (Madonna unveiled)? These are also in that area where I have cleared away a lot of weak and overgrown plum saplings. They have now started to produce their summer leaves and shoots – the winter basal leaf rosettes will die away.
And then my first, and almost only, spring flowers so far – a little clump of sparsely flowering white hyacinths. I have brought a few sprigs indoors and they scent the kitchen beautifully. There also seem to be plenty more flowering shoots coming through, even though it has already been flowering for several weeks.
In the hedgerows, all down the lane and around some edges of my garden, the Cornus mas are about to break into flower, and this one little sprig in my garden has opened:
Finally, my biggest surprise: I have noticed patches of these small rosettes of broad leaves pushing through the lawn grass in several areas since late autumn or early winter. They initially looked to me a bit like tulip leaves, but obvious far too early. Clearly quite hardy, I assumed they must be some sort of pernicious weed, but decided I should just leave them to see what they turned out to be.
And a few days ago it dawned on me, thinking back to early spring last year when we were house-hunting and I was spending a lot of my time identifying and recording wild flowers (see my Wildflowers page). It seems I have a lawn full of orchids: during a quick walk around in the rain I counted over a hundred!