Friday, 14 January 2011

Firstlings

Eranthis hyemalis 'Zitronenfalter'
The weather this week has been mild and wet and progress in the garden has been dramatic. Snowdrop shoots are spearing up and different cultivars are opening by the day. That is good to see, but I was also pleased to see today that there is a smattering of flowers on two lemon-yellow selections of Eranthis hyemalis. Despite their different orifgins - 'Lightning' was found in Pennsylvania while 'Zitronenfalter' is from Germany - it is remarkable that the should both flower early in the season, long before any other Eranthis is visible. They're really more or less indistinguishable in appearance, but there is a gene for double flowers in the 'Lightning' strain, so it's probably worth keeping them apart.

The first Cyclamen coum flowers have also opened this week, bringing a few sparks of colour here and there. It is funny to get excited about a few odd flowers when in a few weeks there will be sheets of them, but after the prolonged frost and snow any flower is welcome - and perhaps a posy of winter flowers is more delightful than a bouquet in summer.

6 comments:

  1. Flowers. Yeah I remember them. Nothing like that been spotted way up North I'm afraid. The eranthis look strange like that - they don't really look like earth plants till they open up.

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  2. We have so much snow - so it is a long time until I can look for the first, little signs of growing in my garden. Thank you for keeping my spirit, and show me that there is hope :)

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  3. Wow! I've been looking for mine since 1st Jan - after seeing your post yesterday - nothing - this morning - masses of the little charmers, all bending their heads as they are so shy, apparently. Haven't been to look at the specials - the double ones aren't even up!! Must admit to being a bit jealous! I expect mine will flower properly next week, although deliciously mild here. Cyclamen are up and doing however, and some hellebores are six inches tall with flowers on, but not all....

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  4. Oh, there's nothing like the first flowers. Snowdrops and eranthis will always be my favourites.
    Lene

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  5. I am watching the snowdrops almost every day last week saw them grow quite rapidly. Ruth Mac Laren is doing well and well guarded against those pesky grey squirrels. As for the cyclamen they too have droopy heads and again are a favourite of squirrels to nip of the heads and leave them strewn in the garden like a fox with hens heads!!!

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  6. Lucky nobody knows your address, Brother; 'Ruth MacLaren' is a rarity!

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