This weekend has been almost warm. The kind of almost warm that makes me realise just how much I have acclimatised to England: I look at our thermometer and perk up at the idea of temperatures higher than 5 degrees. I cycled to the shops on Friday wearing only two layers (t-shirt and cotton jumper; no wind-proof cycling jacket) and trousers without tights. I marvelled at how warm it was and my eyes lit up as I passed the park with clumps of daffodil stems. Very, very soon, they will bloom.
My own bulbs are a bit more nascent. Shortly after the snow melted, I went out to look for shoots, my brow knotted because I was worried I’d planted them too close or something had eaten them. (To be honest, I was half hoping something would eat them, because that would mean there were badgers about. Optimistic – very; realistic – no.) The lawn has not been disturbed at all, so definitely nothing ate them.
This is what I saw:
This makes me ever-so happy. I know that soon I will have a lawn spattered with purple crocuses and yellow daffodils, and spring will be here.
Elsewhere, daffodils are already out (I’m postulating they get more sunshine – and fertiliser – than my patch). I also saw one of my favourite English flowers: snowdrops. They come out when it is still cold. They are tiny, delicate little things; growing in clusters under trees and beside rocks, fences and gravestones; they look like they’re huddling together for warmth.
The first batch I saw on our weekend cycle ride was on the side of a hill that we were descending. As delightful as the sight of snowdrops was, the descent was much too much fun to stop for a photograph. But a later batch came as we arrived at a cross-roads, so I leant my bike alongside a stonewall and knelt on the sodden ground for a close up. My knees got muddy and cold (oops), but I was happy.
Snowdrops are goodbye-to-winter flowers; daffodils and crocuses are harbingers of spring. I can’t wait!