Thursday, 1 March 2012


The 1st of March and I'm in the garden in my shirtsleeves. The sun is coaxing creatures from their winter slumber. A spider suns itself on the wall. Bright beads of ladybirds crawl from their curled leaves and sit, sleep-dazed, vivid against the emerging green.

The air feels alive with signs of spring. Crows cackle to one another in the orchard trees, and the thrum of blackbird wings comes and goes, as the birds alight on the wall before spying The Bear and hastily leaving again.

The lesser celandine has boldly arrived, and soon will be carpeting the ground with a banquet of yellow flowers for the early spring insects. Lesser celandine spreads quickly and strongly from tiny tubers that look like minuscule potatoes. It can be quite invasive and is often considered a weed. But I find it to be a polite little plant, if a tad cheeky, popping up to promote its wares like a cockney barrow boy, and then receding agreeably back under the soil once the more elegant ladies and gentlemen of the season arrive. With its horseshoe- or heart-shaped leaves, and its golden petals that open when the sun rises and close again at the approach of dusk, this native wildflower is a tiny treasure in any garden.

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