I love crocus tommasinianus, they are the true heralds of spring – in my garden anyway. In the warm sunshine they fling wide their petals and jostle for the attention of passing bees. Once they have finished flowering I will dig some up and continue my job of spreading them round the garden – they really are a flower you can’t have too many of. Another pleasure is the scent of the Daphne odora
growing next to the steps that lead to the front door. It’s a crisp citrusy fragrance that I would buy in a bottle were it available. And floating above it, the mimosa
is in full flower. It grew so prodigiously last year that I am cutting off whole branches and giving them away. Good timing for this weekend too as I’ve just discovered that it is the traditional Mother’s Day flower in Spain.
Renishaw Hall gardens are open from 11am-3pm on Sunday February 27th. The hellebores, crocus and snowdrops will be at their peak and if you are feeling inspired there will be five specialist nurseries selling spring flowering plants and bulbs. Admission £3.50 www.renishaw-hall.co.uk
Most of the snowdrops are just unfurling but this one is a herald of what's to come
The first pots of Iris reticulata are in flower thanks to a spell in the greenhouse
Checking back to the same time last year it is interesting to see what was out this week last year – and compare it with this year. Usually the crocus tommasinianus are the first to flower but this year I found this pot of a creamy white crocus with brown markings in flower before the tommasinianus have even begun to show buds. The snowdrops are pretty well on cue, but the greenhouse-grown iris are a couple of weeks earlier. Last year the Daphne odora aureamarginata was already in flower, this week the buds are showing colour but have yet to open. I love the inconsistency of it all.
Earliest crocuses Snowbunting have popped up in one of the pots