With double-digit temperatures yesterday and periods of sunshine instead of the promised showers, I managed to take the promised video of the winter gems – some of the winter gems, that is, because despite thinking before Christmas that everything looked as if they would be early, in practice it has almost been the opposite. Witch hazels and special snowdrops are at their peak, but the common snowdrops and hellebores are nowhere near that yet, and many potential bloomers have not yet made an appearance – last year I compiled a list of over 70 different species for visitors to look out for on our February open day, but this year perhaps less than half of those are in bloom yet…that’s UK seasons for you!
What struck me yesterday, apart from the snowdrops and hellebores and witch hazels looking more themselves, was the crocus – the streamside grass which you will see early on in the video was suddenly speckled with the purple of Crocus tommasinianus, throwing their arms open with joy at the relative warmth of the February sun. Their friends in the adjacent shrub border, which were nothing but short tufts of green yesterday, are today now clothed in purple too (above), a clear indicator of how quickly a garden can move from winter to spring, given the right weather conditions.
However, it’s not spring yet though, so watch the video and enjoy some winter gems instead.