Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Last snowdrop, first wisteria


Late secondary flower on
Galanthus 'Straffan'
Today is almost certainly the last day of the snowdrop season here, with just one recognizable snowdrop flower left in good condition. It's a very belated secondary flower of 'Straffan'. The fading of the snowdrops really goes unnoticed - they melt away as spring advances - and only when it's down to the last few does it become interesting to see which one hangs on longest.

Much more interesting and optimistic is to see spring advancing in everything else. Paeonia mairei has been open for the past two or three days, always the first peony of the year, and today it has been joined by the first open flower on Wisteria sinensis. This plant grows on the wall of the house at Colesbourne Park. It is always the first to open, but the shoots that do so are pressed up tight against the south-facing wall. Almost all the flower buds have apparently been killed by the hard winter, so it looks as if the only racemes we'll enjoy are the few close to the wall. In some years it would have been possible to include a sprig of Rosa banksiae with the Wisteria, Paeonia and Galanthus, but the rosebuds are still small this year and it will be sometime before they are out.

Wisteria sinensis

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