Despite snow and ice, rain and high winds this week the days are longer. Nature is waking up. In honour of St Valentine, my Six this week is about early food sources for the (Birds) and Bees. I try to have something for them in every month of the year.
1. Snowdrops peeking through.
2. Pachysandra flower buds, among the first flowers to open. Not very glamorous, but scented and important early food for bees. An evergreen ground cover for all the little things to hide in – voles, shrews, wrens.
3, Cornus Mas flower buds against bright blue sky. The flowers should open in the next couple of weeks, filling the air with vanilla.
4. Kalmia ‘Elf’ promising abundant bloom in May.
5. The witch hazels are my first and last flowers, ‘Pallida’ flowering in January and a common un-named native in November. Here is ‘Pallida’ as seen through Red Osier dogwood. If you have room for a witch-hazel this one would get my vote.
6. Helleborus Niger, silly little Christmas Rose that will eventually open up sometime after Easter. This one is in my house for now in an effort to save the flower buds from whichever the ‘little thing’ is that eats them every year. It is very hardy but apparently also tasty!
Those are my Six this week. Inspired by these, I’m off to start my ‘Italians’ – onions, chillis and peppers and some sprouted garlic cloves. They will germinate on my radiator covers and live in the house on every available sunny surface for a couple of months.
Take a look at what is happening over on the Propagator’s website for more Spring Awakenings from around the world.