greentapestry : Spring in November

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Spring in November

My sister is away travelling in South America where it is spring. She has been taunting me with regular texts to the effect that the temperature is seriously warm, that she is on Copacabana Beach, then that she is in Buenos Aires where there is a haze of purple blossom etc, etc. On a decidedly grim and grey November day earlier this week, came an email with the photo that you can see above of jacaranda trees in Buenos Aires. "Too much information sis :) " was my rather short reply.

Yet here in the north west of England there are definite signs of blossom and spring out there. Perhaps not quite as striking as the jacaranda are the subtle flowers of Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' or the autumn flowering cherry. Little sprigs of blossom have been breaking throughout this week which made my heart skip a beat. Providing there are no severe frosts this will flower for a good while here before having a kip and then a second flowering come spring. I first saw mention of it in Vita Sackville - West's 'Garden Book' and decided that I would like to plant this tree one day. She used to cut branches to open up in the warmth of the house "where the green buds surprisingly expand into the white, faintly - scented blossom suggestive of spring." There is both a pure white flowering version and a white tinged with pink, which is the one I grow. I have been trying to photograph my tree for the last couple of days but it has been blowing a hooley. You can see it here photographed in December 2009 but for a clearer idea of what the flowers are like Liz, over at Gwirrel's Garden has recently posted about the same tree. Liz has a superb talent for photography and if you have not visited her blog before you are really in for a visual treat.

Other signs of spring are a hellebore in flower, despite me protesting to the contrary when I read Rosie's post over at LeavesnBloom. That was before I did a spot of tidying up and spotted a flash of white from Mrs Betty Ranicar'. Then my sadly reduced collection of named snowdrops (which have been decimated by the last two winters) is showing activity. Galanthus 'Mrs McNamara' who usually appears in January is already showing white whilst the noses of other 'drops are already breaking through!

My sister returns this coming week but I now feel that I cope with those warm weather texts and emails should more land on my phone.


  1. Hi Anna,

    So very nice to know your Cherry is blooming too - I do hope they get to bloom for a good while yet! :D

    Thank you very much for the link; it's much appreciated :)

    As for the Hellebores, well I have buds on one of mine but the rest so far are showing no signs of blooms. However, they are young plants and only planted in the past two months and I'm so very thrilled that even one has buds!
    I was naughty and ordered two more earlier today and cannot wait to see them blooming.
    Gotta admit that I'm surprised you have Snowdrops popping up; I checked for mine yesterday but couldn't see any. However, I do have Muscari, dwarf Irises and Crocuses instead, so I think everyone is a little confused at the moment.

  2. Goodness a hellebore in flower - that is early. I have iris reticulata peeking out of the ground but thats all

  3. Those trees are beautiful! You've got me thinking I should go check my Hellebores too. And my Snowdrops.

  4. Hi Anna,
    I know someone going to the Caribbean for Christmas and friends who have just moved to Cyprus so I know how you feel. I would love to be able to escape our winter. I love the autumn flowering cherry. I first cam across it when we live in a small village by the Thames. There was a house with one in the front garden which I would walk past everyday. I would love one in my own garden but I've run out of space. I do have a winter-flowering honeysuckle which I'm looking forward to flowering.

  5. Sounds like a nice tree - and I am way over due for a visit over to Liz's blog. Another plant for the "next garden" wishlist... No signs of snowdrops or hellebore here yet, but there again I've not had a really good poke about outside for a while.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.