daffodils on windowsill, yellow petals with orange corona

Wet weather cheer

Spring bulbs. I love ‘em. Mostly because they are so EASY! Someone else has planted them. I do nothing, then they appear, like little heralds of spring, in all their sweet, colourful glory. I don’t have to do anything except enjoy them. And they do the same next year. And the year after that. Splendid.

Because of the apocalyptical weather we have been having, it isn’t to anyone’s great surprise that it is really only the daffs that are out, and even those haven’t really opened. A few brave frontguards have tried opening up, (and regretted it, no doubt) but the rest are still tightly clasped together, hugging themselves for warmth as the tenth storm of the season tries to rip their heads off.

The few snowdrops that made it have been out for a while, unfortunately not harbingers of actual snow, despite what the weather man keeps promising. (I had to listen to 5 minutes of my husband staring out at the sky from the bedroom window ranting, “100% chance of snow. 100% it says here. And look, no snow. 100%! How can they say that if it’s not snowing?” I may need to invest in earmuffs. Or better weather apps.) But they look like sad, abandoned droplets, rather than the glorious hosts that the daffodils become.

What I am really looking forward to, though, are the bluebells, my favourite of the spring bulbs. I treated myself and bought a bunch of English ones last year, ready to plant around the big birch tree we have. I am eagerly anticipating the lilac prettiness that will be appear in my field (or bog, as it currently is) and hope that the bad luck I have with basil does not also extend to bluebells. Or weather app choices. At the time, I hadn’t realised that there was a native bluebell and a Spanish cousin (novice here, remember) but the English bluebell is so much prettier that I am very glad that this was what I chose to plant. For any other novices out there, the differences are in shape (our ones have a bowed stem and narrow flowers with the petals strongly rolled back. Spanish ones have an upright flower spike and bell shaped flowers); smell (ours have a nice one. Spanish ones don’t have a scent. Win!); colour (deep blue for us, with occasional pink ones, pale blue or pink flowers for Spanish ones, with English pollen being white and Spanish pale green or blue).

Apparently, the biggest problem we have (for those of us who are cheering in the native corner) is that the two types have intermingled too well, and that our fields are being mostly taken over by hybrids, which have characteristics from both. And as much as I always applaud the idea of blending and sharing space in every other context, I’m not sure I’m happy to apply that to my bluebells!

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