How spring plays out in terms of wildflowers varies a lot from year to year and from place to place. This year, the celandines and violets have appeared in remarkable profusion around my home, and I’m still seeing a lot of them. Fruit trees have been abundant with flowers as well. I don’t have a fantastic visual memory but even so I’m confident I’ve seen more flowers on blackthorn and soft fruiting trees than I normally would. However, I hear from friends that their apple flowers locally are late.
In the last week I’ve seen my first buttercups and cowslips of the season. I’m watching for the kingcups, but I’ve not seen any of those yet. Soon, it will be time to go looking for orchids. Last year I only found one bee orchid, which was an unusually low number.
There must be a lot of variables impacting on plants. How the winter went, what the spring temperatures are like, how much rain there is – and different plants are all adapted to thrive in slightly different conditions. Sometimes, if you know a plant well you might have a sense for how it will respond to the conditions as a year unfolds. I don’t have that depth of connection and am generally surprised.
I watch with interest to see what flowers when, and enjoy watching for new plants as the year progresses. The cleavers seem to be doing really well this year, and the garlic is growing large and lush. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get onto the hilltops for the bluebells and wood anemones, but remain hopeful.
Cowslips are especially significant for me, because they were rare when I was a child. A plant pushed to the edge, they have somehow made a comeback during my life and as such are a symbol of hope, to me.