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.