Monday, 15 April 2013
We've just emerged, blinking and rather wan, from the coldest March in over 50 years. Much of the garden is only just beginning to stir into life and after a day's warmth the blackthorn - which has remained tightly in bud throughout the cold spell - has rather ironically burst into bloom.
I say ironically, because a blackthorn winter usually refers to a late cold snap in late March or early April. Had it bloomed when it seemingly wanted to last month, then I'm sure we would have seen the phrase touted regularly around the weather reports. As it is, its blossoming now serves as a warning. We may at last have some longed-for warmth, but winter could just as easily return.
The blossom gives away its Prunus heritage (it's Prunus spinosa - an apt name): such starry flowers on bare branches. A simple flower, but beautiful nonetheless. Soon the petals will be strewn across my front garden like confetti. This year the blossom is prolific, which will be good for this effect and also bodes well for sloes in the autumn.
If I have my way these particular blooms won't get to form their sloes. Like many of its Prunus cousins, blackthorn suckers prolifically. The blossom you see is right at the front of our side garden and has wormed its way through from the public land next door. If I allow these to remain - and I should have steeled my heart a couple of years ago - their next stop is through the tarmac of our drive. Don't worry, plenty of blackthorn is close by as we have a rather fine hedgerow next to the house, so we will still get to forage for sloes later on this year.
Now the real gardening season begins. There's two months work to squeeze into one, which undoubtedly applies to the flowers too. I'm expecting some unexpected flowering combinations this year :)
Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.