You know the feeling of freshly-brushed teeth? That’s how I feel taking a walk around our frosty garden this morning.
The green is starting up, but frosty white is just holding it in check.
It’s a muted, minty green. Not too much joy, in case we all get a little over-excited. By all means enjoy this primrose, but don’t forget, it’s only the beginning of February.
This was my first foray into the garden for several days. I have been knocked back by a cold spell of my own. There was something cleansing about the chill in the air after being cloistered in a sick room.
I needed to see some new fresh growth amongst the dry old canes from last season.
These spearmint sprigs of Buddleia foliage look so hopeful. They’re doing their best to hide the embarrassment of winter pruning.
The buds on the peach tree are looking especially handsome. They are the tones of a country gent: grey-green jerkin and maroon boots. It is all bluster: they hide peachy sweetness within.
The crowns of Hyacinths seem to just appeared overnight, as if left there by forgetful frog princes.
This is the easiest of all tulips. Unlike the showy cultivated tulips, species tulips tend to stick around and multiply year on year. They are one of my best discoveries. I plant them under fruit trees, and they seem to like it there.
Over in the show-off cutting beds, there are no signs yet of the Diva tulips emerging. They will be fashionably late. For now they languish under their warm duvet.
Not for the first time, I curse my terrible record-keeping. I have a mixture of scribbled notes in various notebooks, a note on my phone, a few email receipts and a Pinterest page, all of which slightly contradict one another. Dear Autumn Self: ONE SYSTEM. ONE GARDEN RECORD TO RULE THEM ALL!!
At least I used plant labels in these pots. In a couple of weeks I can expect to see the icy sophistication of Iris reticulata ‘Katharyn Hodgkin’.
It looks like she will be pipped to the post by a splash of sky blue, from the equally exciting Iris reticulata* ‘Alida’.
*I have a vague memory that these miniature irises have lost their reticulata nomenclature. Searching around on the internet, it doesn’t seem to have been replaced by anything other than ‘dwarf’. Surely they deserve better than this! Reticulata means ‘netted’. The name comes not from the ink-blot pattern on their petals, but from the bulbs being contained by a fine fibrous net.
For now, it is the Snowdrop’s moment.
If you put your nose right under the flower you get the distinct smell of honey.
The other stars are the hazel catkins. I’m not actually sure if this is a cobnut or a hazel, or what they difference is. I can’t remember it ever being quite so laden with catkins as it is this year.
They are especially lovely with the morning sun shining through them. Fragility and resilience combined.
There are so many signs of spring, but we can’t quite shake off winter. It’s like we have a fifth season, spr-inter. Its colours are minty-fresh, but with a hint of honey.
How about you? Are there signs of spring?
The Mindful Gardener is trying to contain her excitement. Spring is around the corner, and there are hundreds of bulbs (though who knows where) waiting to emerge! Stick around, join the fun, crouch down and get close!
You can click on the big ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of the page if you like. This will ping an email straight to you when a new post is published. Which probably means a new bulb has just popped.