Rather madly I suggested eating lunch outside today as, for once, the sun was shining. And although rather chilly (despite being under a glass canopy) the timing could have been worse, as ten minutes later there was a significant hail storm.
I’ve taken the daffodils as a prompt to consider things yellow today (as opposed to blue) and the photo below shows next door’s mimosa currently lit up among the grey, bare branches surrounding it. The sight reminds me of a weekend in late February around twenty years ago when I went to Rome for the weekend. The sun shone, we walked for miles around the stunning architecture, had coffee outside in the beautiful Piazza Navona, and on the Sunday, A bought me a bunch of mimosa (Acacia dealbata) from a street seller. We learnt that mimosa is a symbol of “Women’s Day” in Italy, a day celebrated in numerous countries globally (although not the UK) and in many a public holiday. The actual date isn’t actually until March 8th but by then I will have forgotten and the mimosa won’t be flowering.
Next is my witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Pallida’). I planted this shortly after we arrived here having admired a massive specimen near the Princess of Wales conservatory in Kew Gardens. I can’t say mine is exactly thriving, but it does seem to be getting better year on year so I think I just have to be patient. According to Crocus it should grow to 3m x 3m, but mine is probably only 1m x 0.5m, certainly not large enough to start cutting branches for the house.
Something else I won’t be cutting for the house is my Mahonia (above), after a comment regarding a winter arrangement I made years ago – ‘oh dear, I think the cat’s done something unpleasant in the sitting room’ – so much for it smelling of Lily of the Valley! As you can see, the Mahonia has nearly finished flowering in my shady bed and so will shortly be pruned back and mulched.
And lastly, I have a couple of pots either side of a door and in one of those chance combinations, the flowers of the Correa backhouseana are exactly matched by the papery sheaths of the newly emerging crocus shoots. The Correa, which hails from eastern Australia, isn’t hardy, but has been very happy so far this winter against this south facing wall. According to the RHS it can be propagated by seed (or semi hardwood cuttings), so that’s another thing to add to the ever lengthening seed list….