At this time of year blooms are still quite thin on the ground in my garden, and are often more promise than actual blooms, so I hope you will forgive me for making a lot out of a little!
Even our snowdrops are not so much drifts as a gentle speckling. Only planted over the last two years, in groups of tens rather than hundreds, the longed-for carpet will be many years in the making – and waiting.
Crocus ‘Prins Claus’, which is white with brush strokes of purple on the outside of each petal, is currently still only represented by a couple of buds. There again, three days ago we didn’t even have that, so she could be flowering by the end of the week. Its that time of year, when you blink and suddenly everything has changed again.
This yellow crocus (‘Gipsy Girl’? Not sure) is a case in point. Last Wednesday there was a single bloom. Now, more than a dozen are half-open with the same again pushing up leaves eager to join the party. I love the crinkles in the leaves, as if they were sat on after being ironed.
Most of the hellebores are still just new buds, looking faintly threatening and triffid-like. The one exception is ‘Tutu’, planted last week. She is doing that hellebore thing of hiding her beauty, or she thinks she is.
Luckily for me even the backs of her flowers are lovely, veined with dark pink.
And if forced to, I will happily crawl around in the fresh compost mulch to force her to give up her secrets.
The real star of the garden at the moment is Iris reticulata. I planted a handful of bulbs in a shallow pot, so that I could easily put it up on the garden table to be admired from the house. I love the deep, almost iridescent blue of the petals, with the flashes of egg-yolk yellow.
These diminutive delights are almost as lovely side-on. Something about the delicate petals reminds me of Magnolia stellata.
These flowers really repay a close look. The undersides of the petals are decorated with pale cream and black markings.
This is much clearer on the emerging buds.
But for all the fancy markings, it is the delicacy of the petals themseleves, and the vibrancy of the colour, that really has me hooked.
And I promise you, I didn’t tweak the colour balance or saturation at all, that is simply what the camera “saw”. Wonderful.
For a life-enhancing, invigorating, blow away the winter blues tour of flowers blooming in gardens the world over visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who hosts Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.