Spring’s Arrival: A Symphony of Blossoms and Blooms

05 Apr 2024

The appearance of the gloriously named Snakeshead Fritillary is one of the real highlights of the early spring garden, their sweetly bowed heads both demure and delightful. I have tucked them into as many pots and beds as possible this year, scattering such daintiness liberally so that their heavy-headed silhouette and sensational checkerboard pattern may carpet the garden with fleeting, fragile beauty while they last.

Sound the bugles! Tulip season is officially in swing, with the early varieties delivering a hugely welcome splash of colour to the garden. It may be a while yet until they’re all out but watching and waiting to see which cheerful crops will spring up next is part and parcel of the joy of tulips. For now, I am really enjoying the new apricot variety bursting forth at the front of house which, in symphony with their bleached terracotta pots and the pink of the cottage windows, is making it feel very welcoming indeed all of a sudden.
The Alamanchier in our courtyard always serves as a reliable barometer of the changing seasons: the first to blossom, it is also leads the charge when we round the corner back into autumn. I’m so delighted that its delicate blossoms have now unfurled, signifying unequivocally that spring really is here. Another herald of hope is the good sprinkling of blossom to be seen on our one and only pear tree. Having not produced an awful lot of fruit these last few years, we’re optimistically taking it as a sign that its current abundance might give way to a bounty of juicy pears later in the year.
In my last despatch from the garden, I shared my excitement about the inaugural harvest of our forced rhubarb. Now, thanks to the relatively mild temperatures, it is firmly out of the forcer and obligingly spoiling us with crop after crop, just as it has done throughout spring and summer for the past four bountiful years.
Later in the year, the beds that frame our lawn will grow leggy with verbena and thick with taller grasses. But rather than letting them lie dormant while we await their glorious arrival, last autumn we selected a host of white and palest yellow daffodils to throng the borders and thus add a little interest and good cheer. I’m so glad we did: the sight of Narcissus Thalia, Daffodil White Explosion and Daffodil Mount Hood swaying prettily on the breeze is one for sore, winter-worn eyes.

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