In the south of France, the mistral, a wind which comes down the Rhone and blows for weeks is supposed to make men and horses go mad. Here March is traditionally windy but this week the wind is relentless; I don’t know about the horses, but it is driving me quite mad. Spring is happening; the willows have a green haze, the blackthorn blossom is frothing up all over the hedges, the hawthorn is coming into leaf and the ditches are full of primroses, but how can you enjoy them when you need all your strength to keep upright and walking under trees feels like Russian roulette?
So I have been lurking in my potting shed, sowing seeds and waiting.
But today I ventured out to find that my plants are braver than I am and have been racing to unfold whilst I have been cowering in the shed. The Weeping Willow has a haze of green.
Buds are plumping up everywhere, I love the red leaves and buds of Paeonia mascula ssp. mascula even if it does have a cumbersome, tautology of a name. It has gorgeous single flowers, but I love it from the time its plump noses first appear in winter.
Last week I showed you Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ which was rashly running into bloom. Now it looks like this and I tremble for it because frost is forecast for next week.
And now Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’ is hastening to join the party.
The gorgeous flowers of this camellia are probably going to get zapped by the frost too. I arrived here with several camellias in pots and tried planting this one out even though I don’t have the acid soil which is supposed to be essential for its well being. To my amazement it is flourishing and has doubled in size. The ones in pots are looking a bit yellow and unhappy so I shall tip all of them out now. The books don’t always get it right, sometimes it is fun to push the boundaries and see what you can get away with.
In a recent post I showed you all the primroses in my greenhouse and wrote that I am a bit snooty about these over -hybridised primroses and only have simple wild ones in my garden.
But then looking round I find all these fancy ones. And I must have planted them because I’m pretty sure that nobody crept into the garden in the night and put them there. But in my defense some of them are very old varieties. Anyway, they certainly shout out spring.
And whilst my back was turned the first of the cheery species tulips came into flower. I never planted these but they come back and increase each year. The extra bonus is that the squirrels seem uninterested in them unlike the delicious, expensive ones I plant in pots.
And next week it will officially be spring and just maybe the wind will stop blowing and we will be able to linger and enjoy every new shoot and bud. I have some more treasures I’d like to share with you and I shall be posting my Top Ten March blooms on the 23rd of the month and thereafter I shall try to always make it the 23rd. I hope some of you will join me and show us your spring favourites.