A new year begins...
If January is a two-faced month and a two-faced god, then the garden is a many-faced mistress.
Alluring, disdainful, smiling, grimacing, as bright as sunlight, as black as Incubus, full of promises, overflowing with – something to everyone as long as they realise that success and disappointment go hand in hand.
So why do we continue to garden? Why do climbers head to the mountains? Why does Wily Coyote never catch the Roadrunner?
The answers don’t matter. What is important is that we do continue, often in more hope than expectation, ready to accept every setback and even willing to try something new when all else fails.
Which is a very roundabout way to welcoming the new year and getting ready to be wowed by the early, very early spring-flowering bulbs. They may not be in your garden, but they’ll be in someone’s or in a local park or the grounds of a stately home. So let’s enjoy them – and write down their names so we can rush out later this year and buy them to plant for spring 2014.
This month always throws up unusually early examples of daffodils in and among the banks of snowdrops, but the stars of January also include Cyclamen coum (often flowering from the end of the old year), eranthis and the petite, scented Iris reticulata.
February fairly explodes with the flowers of Anemone blanda, crocus, scilla and chionodoxa, the glory of the snow, whose small blooms are shaped like pale-blue stars.
By March, they are joined by the likes of narcissus, erythronium and hyacinth, and April, of course, is so full of flowers that a gardener really doesn’t know where to look.
Tulips start to take centre stage, while convollaria, trillium, grape hyacinth, fritillaries and puschkinia, the rarely-grown relative of the bluebell, push their way through the soil.
It’s a hard life being a spring-flowering bulb, but the rewards are great – acclamation and appreciation from just about everyone who has had to endure the dark and dismal days of winter.
So, enjoy the show to come; look forwards not back, and if you’ve never really got into gardening, give it a try. You may find it infuriating, but you’ll never be bored and you’ll be face to face with nature.
Make 2013 a year to remember for all the right reasons.
- Woolwich police raid house in Lincolnshire
- Two shot after soldier is hacked to death in street with meat cleaver
- McDermott identifies Leeds transfer targets
- Leeds MP beaten unconscious in homophobic attack hits out at Tory gay marriage rebels
- £20,000 damages for Yorkshire policewoman offered a pink gun
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Weather for Yorkshire
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 31 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North