Spring unfolds

I feel spring in our garden starts when our big plum tree flowers and the bees fill the tree making the petals of the plum blossom fall like confetti. There are still some flower buds opening but the big display is over and the total white haze is giving over to hints of green as the leaves start to open.

The perfume is still distinct but another perfume is taking over, especially in the late afternoon, from the Osmanthus burkwoodii that you can see in the bottom right hand corner of the photograph.

The flowers of the Osmanthus burkwoodii are not large or flashy but are highly perfumed and much appreciated by the bees.

The other strong perfume in the garden at the moment comes from the Hyacinths. I used to regard Hyacinths as indoor bulbs and stubby things to grow in a garden.

But I have changed my mind now for they add colour and exquisite perfume so I plant them as near to the terrace as I can. Although I do admit that I have to farm out some of the excess ones to spots further away as they are happy to reflower in the climate here.

In the mornings I like to check my bee boxes before there is too much sun. This is when I can find the Osmia, either still asleep after spending the night cosy inside a hole or just thinking about starting off their day.

Each day brings something different to see. The Bombus praetorum queens are quicker than the bumbling white tailed bumble bee queens, which makes them more difficult to photograph.

This is a better photograph of her but I like the first one better.

This carder bumble bee is a beautiful ginger colour over her entire thorax and abdomen. She is on the Cerinthe which has just started to flower this week. The Cerinthe self-seeds and started growing in the autumn and has not been damaged at all by the mild winter.

The Wisteria has started to open its flower buds. It is a formidable plant. It looks as if the bud is taking off its winter coat.

Another welcome flower has appeared on one of our succulents. I do not know what it is and we have grown it from a piece we have acquired. The succulents are another group of plants that I have grown to appreciate more and more.

We have had so much rain this spring that the early flowers are thriving and I feel that the daisies are bigger this year. It should be a good spring for the bees.

Kourosh is taking no chances and, in case he can tempt any errant swarms, he has placed a small hive at the bottom of the garden.

Also at the bottom of the garden, in a piece of rough ground that we use to compost down the garden rubbish, I noticed a clump of short daffodils/narcissi. I am not very fond of these and they seem to multiply excessively, however, Kourosh likes them. I had to cull them last year and asked Kourosh to dispose of the excess bulbs. Now I know where he put them.

28 thoughts on “Spring unfolds

  1. Osmanthus of various species seem to be popular everywhere but here. Viburnum tinus does well enough here to spread, but is not pretty enough to get my attention like it does elsewhere. I mean, it is rather plain. It is amusing to read about how appealing other osmanthus are elsewhere, just because they mostly get ignored here. Only the snowball bush is really showy for us.

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      1. White happens to be my favorite color, but I prefer it to be bright white, neither creamy nor subdued. To me, most of the viburnum bloom with a rather grungy white. They look so much better in pictures from other regions.

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  2. Lovely to see your spring has progressed so well. Still waiting for ours to get going, but with longer days there should be a bit more in flower for the bees soon. Had two enormous bumble bees in my Hellebores yesterday although it was only about 5°C!

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    1. We did not plant our big plum tree. I guess it is a Myrobolan or Prunus cerasifera. It is the earliest flowering in our neighborhood but it gives very sweet plums. They are small but not like the small, acid plums of the wild plums that we have around here. Amelia

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  3. Beautiful pictures of flowers and bees !
    Our Cerinthe has flowers since a few weeks and it self seeds like in your garden.
    It has not be affected by the frost we had a few days ago, which unusual.

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  4. The yellow flowering succulent (I don’t know its name either) is naturalized in the Herault where I used to live. I have a couple of planters full of it, you can’t kill it, and it is an early cheerful reminder that spring is just about sprung.
    bonnie in provence

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