Sorry about that, but I’m overexcited.
In the last two weeks the meadow has suddenly exploded.
It started with the daffodils apparently stuck at about six inches tall. I don’t blame them; I didn’t want to be out much either. And then it got a bit warmer and a lot sunnier, and the low cloud went off to annoy other people, and everything suddenly shot up and opened.
The daffodils are shaping up for a record year, and are going insane. I thought the ridiculously mild – well, comparatively mild, that is – and thoroughly damp winter would have a bad effect, but it doesn’t seem that way.
(People who have been with me over the last year may remember that I count daffs. I take as my role model the great Christopher Lloyd, and if he considered counting daffodils perfectly normal behaviour, then who am I to argue?)
The doubles are lavish and seem to have taller stems than usual – perhaps that is connected to the weather; they didn’t get a pause with a cold snap. They’re flowering well in the top Rosa rugosa hedge, despite potential disturbance from the Great Couch Grass Removal exercise, or ‘Operation Bugger’ as we decided to call it after too many collisions between limbs and feckin’ Rosa feckin’ rugosa. (I’m quoting, of course. I would never use such unseemly language.)
Bizarrely, I seem to have one huge clamp of a daffodil variety I don’t remember. It’s an established clump; it’s not something I moved and promptly forgot about.
They’re gorgeous. How could I possibly have forgotten about these?
I have no idea what variety they are, or where they came from. I checked my ever-so-slightly obsessive photographic archive, and I can’t find a trace of them last year. What I can find a trace of is a blind clump – but that’s always been there; it was one of the ones I had in line for lifting and splitting. Maybe it just didn’t want to be lifted and split (it does sound rather brutal) and so decided it had better put on a show.
Moving on (there’ll be many, many more daffodils to come), the explosion has not been confined to the daffs. The chionodoxas under the Rosa ******* rugosa are having a great year too, and are making tentative approaches towards the main meadow.
In fact, they are so good this year that they deserve some time to themselves so, for the moment, see what I mean:
It’s more of a carpet of blue than it has been for a while. Notice the spines of those rose stems too. Yersss, as Jeremy Paxman might say.
Back in the meadow proper, or perhaps that should be mainly in the meadow proper, the primroses are fantastic. And the anemones are also having an exceptional time this spring:
They’re spreading very well too. They started out as one small clump in the top Rosa hedge (again), and have gradually migrated without any intervention from me or P. I do not blame them – if I lived in that hedge, I’d migrate.
And the primroses – oh, the primroses. And P did think he’d spotted a cowslip amongst them and shouted out the exciting news – I’m glad it’s not just me who gets all unnecessary over spring in the meadow – but it was actually an oxlip; it really is a bit early for the cowslips.
And I’ve had said it was a bit early for these too, but they’re well on their way:
The first of the fritillaries, and almost out. That’s it, spring is definitely here.
Solstice, what solstice? The fritillaries know.