The end of winter

White_Pieris_Japonica_and_pale_pink_Rhododendron
In full bloom at the end of February, white Pieris Japonica and pink Rhododendron. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

Today is officially the meteorological end of winter, which means that tomorrow is the first day of spring; hoorah to that! It has been a very warm and sunny end to a month that has been one of the mildest Februarys on record across the whole of the UK. It has been a pleasure to be out-of-doors, so many birds are singing and there are many insects buzzing all round the garden.

An_early_dogtooth_violet_with_bee
A busy bee in the sunshine collecting pollen from a dogtooth violet. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Looking back over previous blog entries, I can see that every image I am posting this week is 2 to 4 weeks earlier than in previous posts. The snowdrops have been glorious this year, and have grown in thick white and green carpets both in the garden and in nearby hedgrows. For the first time I can recall I was able to detect their sweet and spicy fragrance as the sun shone on the blooms. I took this image a few days ago just as the fine weather started in earnest. The snowdrops in the sunny parts of the garden have gone over now, but there are a few clusters still lighting up the shady corners of the borders and under the thickest hedges.

Scottish_snowdrops_in_February_sunshine
Snowdrops enjoying the sunshine. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

It has been a good year for crocus too. The bulbs I planted last year in an old wooden barrel have put on a very colourful display. They have recently been joined by Tête-à-tête, which are also growing all round the garden, giving a sunny glow and a sweet aroma to many of the flower beds.

Yellow_white_and_lilac_crocus_in_wooden_barrel
Large wooden barrel of crocus. Image: Kathryn Hawkins
Narcissus_Tête-à-tête
Narcissus Tête-à-tête. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Last weekend I spotted the first tiny blue dot in one of the paths which was a sign that my favorite of all spring flowers, the Chionodoxa, were on their way. Sure enough, over the course of the next few days, small electric-blue clumps of star-shaped flowers have sprung up all over the place.

Chionodoxa_in_gravel_paths_in_a_Scottish_garden
Striking blue Chionodoxa. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

It’s not only the flowers that are excelling themselves this year, the rhubarb patch is very much alive and kicking. I love the bright red stems of the new shoots and curled leaves. The stems look tempting enough to eat already, but I will resist and be patient.

Young_Scottish_rhubarb_stems
A fairy ring of young rhubarb shoots. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

I have posted plenty of Hellebore pictures in the past, and I end my post this week with another one. This beauty was new to the garden last year and has only 3 flowers, but the blooms are delightful. I hope it thrives in its new location, and look forward to seeing more blooms in the future. Until next time, happy Spring 🙂

Double_white_speckled_Hellebore
Double white speckled Hellebore. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

 

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2 thoughts on “The end of winter

  1. I couldn’t resist calling my husband so he would join me for a stroll in your beautiful garden. We noticed how you have rocks on the ground at the bottom of the plants. This must be good protection against cold weather. Hellebore really gives pretty flowers. I must look it up and find out if it would do well here.
    After a patch of dry and exceptionally warm weather (18 to 20°C every afternoon after freezing temperatures every night!!!) it is cooler today. I am now hoping for some rain on the Japanese camelia we planted last year!
    Thank you, Kathryn, have a nice weekend 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you’d need to wrap up if strolling round the garden here today. It’s grey and decidedly chilly again. Glad you like the pictures. We are in for a rainy weekend all over the UK so perhaps some will drift down to you and give the Camelia a good soaking. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks and best wishes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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