There are some rather wonderful words for describing the shape of a flower’s stigma. ‘Plumoso’ describes a feathered shape. ‘Lobado’ describes a lobed shape. There is conicoid (conical), discoide (disc-shaped) and con pelos (with hair). I would describe a crocus stigma as plumoso. Lucky crocus.
These are the three flowers that have given me most delight in the garden this week. Each is perfectly itself. Each occupies its space. Each has its own dignity.
I love watching any type of bee, but bumblebees are especially endearing. Especially when they dive nose-first into a flower and tip up their furry bums.
On a weekend, I like to get up before the rest of the family. I put on my dressing gown and slippers, make myself a cup of tea, slip on my wellies, and take a little walk around the garden.
Edging the lawn is not my favourite garden job. I don’t like anything that involves keeping to a straight line. I am a wobbly sort of gardener.
You can see the intricacy of the markings. They remind me of a school chromatography experiment when we made an ink spot on blotting paper and then dipped it in water. The pigments in the ink slowly separated and spread out over the blotting paper.
I don’t know about you, but when I visit a garden over and over again, I tend to go in exactly the same direction in the same order as every other time I have visited. Somehow, in the nine years I have been visiting Leeds Castle, I have managed never to have noticed Lady Baillie’s Mediterranean Garden.
The words of this song keep coming back to me as I find little groups of crocuses around the garden.
Misunderstood sepals, tempting nectaries, fizzling stamens in various stages of excitement, and patiently waiting carpels at the core. You will find all life in the crazy orbit of a Hellebore!
Like with so many spring bulbs, you spend hours watching over them, singing to them, telling them little stories, begging them to open. Then just as your back is turned (you have put the kettle on to boil, or just nipped to the loo), TA DA! The most magnificent flower has sprung open!
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 is it, when all the others are much bigger, much stronger, more colourful, more showy… how is it that the humble little snowdrop is the bravest of all?