The First Flowers of 2020

Last week in between Ciara and Dennis (that’s the storms) I ventured out into my backyard to check for damage and collect up the debris from the neighbouring eucalyptus tree (still standing). And, to my enormous pleasure I found that the hellebores I planted last year are now blooming.

The Lenten Rose. Helleborous orientalis

Now, I do not normally cut these flowers as with their drooping heads once cut they tend only to look at their very best as single blooms floating in a shallow bowl. A shallow bowl arrangement is fine as a table centrepiece, but in my studio I only have shelf space. The two tables I have are covered with frames, silk and all the associated bottles and jars of dyes with which I am currently working.

Nevertheless, even though I knew they wouldn’t last long, I did cut two stems. I then spent some time fiddling around propping up the blooms using some blossom-bearing twigs of an evergreen shrub (Viburnum tinus) finally making my first vase arrangement of homegrown flowers for 2020. Incidentally, it wasn’t just the first flowers that were picked, but the first caterpillar was also sighted.

A very green caterpillar

Although I don’t have space to grow bulbs for cutting myself, there’s no reason not to buy a bunch of Cornish-grown daffodils. At this time of the year they last a good week and absolutely brighten up my basement kitchen.

Daffodils all the way from Cornwall.

And, of course also at this time of year a stroll through the Old Cemetery finds the crocuses in bloom . . .

. . . but what’s all this noise? I raised myself, camera in hand, after kneeling for a crocus close-up, to find myself amidst a startled murder of crows. Wrong exposure and not in focus, but, for once, I managed to capture a half-dozen of the birds as they wheeled away. All rather spooky!

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

14 thoughts on “The First Flowers of 2020”

      1. No, it’s not – however much I like not having to struggle through weeks of ice and snow. Though, we have had some vicious March -es in the past and I can’t say winter is over here yet.

  1. Hard to think that spring for you means autumn for us. We hardly seem to have had a summer. But with recent dumps of rain, some parts of the garden are making a late run, as well as blooms appearing on Frangipani and Magnolia.
    As I type, there is a distant crow or raven (hard to tell the difference here) calling out its territorial slow “ah-ah-ah-aaaah”. The last drawn out note always make me think they are the souls of the long departed. Appropriate you should find yours in a cemetery.

    1. Yes, I am always struck with how most of us this side of the equator are so ‘northern hemisphere centric’. Hope you have a better autumn than summer.
      I once spent some time (pre Google days) trying to find a map of the globe with the south at the top. I see that although there were some from 1900 onwards it wasn’t until 1970s one was commonly available. I still haven’t seen one in real life.

  2. Interesting to hear you have a eucalyptus next door. Is it healthy? Lots of colour in the images Agnes and that last photo is like a watercolour painting. In it is rather unique. Your challenge is to take some more with the same effect.

  3. I think more out of focus shots is the easy bit, but being fast enough to capture any startled birds again, probably for me, unrepeatable. And yes, the huge, huge eucalyptus is healthy, but still, I and my neighbours all have our fingers crossed during any high-wind storms.

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