I was talking to a local acquaintance yesterday, an enthusiastic gardener and an occasional reader of my blog, who was bemoaning the lateness of the spring and the months without colour in her garden and it made me realise how fortunate I am, as the woodland edge border in particular has been providing colour since the beginning of the year and continues to thrill me every time I walk through it. The hellebores, having flowered through rain and snow and wind, are mostly looking even better than ever and some are still producing new buds, as this one demonstrates.
The surprises though, are still coming – is there no end to this box of delights? I knew I had planted some white Viola odorata in the species snowdrop border but it had never amounted to much – until today, when there was a sizeable clump in full flower!
Continuing my rambling, more surprises awaited me in the woodland – big fat flower buds on the red rhododendron (helpfully labelled ‘Rhododendron (hardy) Red’ and presumably bought before I was fussy enough to demand named varieties) and another bud on Rhododendron ‘Cheers’, which had already produced a couple of flowers in December. I was particularly pleased to see the former as I especially like the deep red varieties and there were no flowers on it last year. Welcome back!
In the blue & white border I have been entranced to see a white Brodiaea corinna appearing amongst the clump of blue, both equally delightful and new to me this year. Nearby, also apparently deciding on a whim that it was time to flower was Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, smothered in forget-me-not blue flowers that will last for months, accompanied by the distinctive silver veined leaves:
Today’s delights have been accompanied by end-to-end sunshine and warmth, the warmest day of the year so far with our weather monitor registering 18°C and our solar panels generating at their maximum for much of the day. Our first glimpse of magnolia flowers earlier in the week was superceded today by the bigger picture, many more magnolia buds outlined starkly against the cloudless blue sky. Can this belated spring get any better?