St. David’s Day marks the end of the winter and what an interminable one it has been this year. But after a weekend of sun, exciting and beautiful things are happening in the garden.
But to celebrate St. David’s Day and the advent of March today’s vase has to have daffodils, which according to the Bard ‘come before the swallow dares and take the winds of March with beauty’. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
To introduce my vase here is my grand- dog, Hector who no longer gets to spend every Tuesday helping me to dig the garden. Lovely Beatrice has captured his soulful expression beautifully.
The earliest daffodil in the garden is ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’. It is a tall daffodil with a large trumpet and it starts blooming in January. It is still going strong and tides us over until the main March ones get going.
Another early-flowering daffodil is ‘Spring Dawn’ and I love this one, it has pale lemon cups and a creamy white perianth.
But perhaps my favourite early- flowering daffodil in the garden is the dainty ‘February Gold’ which doesn’t loll about as ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ sometimes does, but who can blame it after a week of snow? But ‘February Gold’ came into bloom after the snow and it stands up beautifully straight and has lovely swept back outer petals.
To go with these early daffodils I used some Summer Snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum which always bloom in winter despite the name. I have clumps of this all over the garden and although it is not dramatic it is useful for vases. The drama is in the sinister- looking black claws of the pussy willow, Salix melanostachys.
It is nice to start off the month with flowers from the garden but there is something worth celebrating in the greenhouse too. It is my mimosa, Acacia deabalta which is in full bloom and filling the air with its warm, powdery scent. The fragrance takes me right back to the south of France where we spent one magical February roaming the mimosa forests of the Massif du Tanneron.
I know that mimosa can become invasive in certain climates and indeed it has become so in the south of France where it threatens the native flora. But here in Suffolk it rarely survives outside although I have occasionally seen it thriving in sheltered corners. Mine lives in a pot in the unheated greenhouse. I am going to have to give it a short back and sides or it will have to take its chance outside next year. But there is no chance of it becoming a nuisance here. I snipped a bit for today’s IAVOM and put it in an old ink pot.
The lemony yellow is a perfect match for the daffodils.
I see that Cathy from Rambling in the Garden who hosts in a ‘Vase on Monday’ has found herself looking towards spring too with some early daffodils. So do go and see. What a lovely and appropriate way to celebrate spring and for me it is a chance to say Happy Birthday to my Welsh friend, David who was appropriately enough born on St. David’s day. Plen-blwydd hapus David. And a very hapus day to everyone now that March is here with all its floral delights.