The scent of any flower seems to me most divine when it’s the first one of the year, although it’s hard to get immune to either Freesias or Sweet Peas. I have a few clumps of Freesia alba ‘Burtonii’ which are smaller and sweetly scented, but even the larger hybrids are beautifully scented this year.
Our neighbour dropped by on the weekend with these beautiful dark red Magnolia flowers. Given that many of the well known dark red magnolias were bred here in New Zealand by the Jury family, I guess this may be Vulcan, or one of the hybrids descended from it. The flowers are enormous, and immediately suggested the addition of close relation, a Michelia, adding both beauty and scent.
My first few tulips are up, and I’m cherishing them as many of them have been eaten by the mysterious rodent or muscalid.
It was a mixed bag of a weekend, with a perfect sunny day, a frosty night, and then a rainy day followed by a misty morning. The flowers were picked in the rain, and photographed as picked – a great opportunity for photographing water droplets but a very drooping arrangement. Back at home I found a better vase for them and they are now all dry and standing up nicely.
It was a brilliant sunny morning after a freezing night, and there were still spots of frost in the shadows. I filled a vase with water in the porch and headed out with some scissors to pick flowers. When I came back there was a small weta floating spreadeagled in the vase. I scooped him out and put him down in the sun, worried about his dip in the freezing water, but he quickly started looking for shelter and shade, first trying the vase, and then the scissors as a hiding place.
I have loved ‘citrus colours’ – lime green, orange, and lemon yellow since I was young, and as a student once went a whole year wearing lime green overalls with orange, red and pink underneath. For my vase today the first yellow daffodils contributed the lemon colour to the oranges, mandarins, and limes blown onto the ground after the storm on Friday.
Wow, last year at this time I had tulips and hyacinths, no roses in sight. The tulips are still only small, and daily being eaten by a stoat, I think. So there may be none at all at this rate.
While much of the country has had record snow falls last week and some are still without power, we didn’t even have a frost, which was nice for the new twin lambs frisking around the next door paddock. There must have been strong winds though, and the olive branches in my vase are from the olive tree which was on the ground when we arrived.
The first Dutch Iris bloomed amid alternating rain and sun this weekend. Something is digging up my tulips and eating them one by one, so I’m glad that the irises are so far untouched.
There are flowers still amongst the growing number of brown seedheads. Salvia and Chrysanthemums are still covered in blooms. A few Penstemons, a few Roses, and the last of the standard Dahlias are sprinkled around. Fuschias have flowered all through the summer and are still making new buds as well as fresh green leaves. The Hydrangeas are finishing gracefully in shades of purple, brown and turquoise.
I was envying all the scented Spring flowers that are flowering now in the Northern hemisphere, with the Calianthus finished the Autumn flowers are lovely but not so strongly scented. And then after 210 mm (8 inches) of rain in the last 2 weeks, up popped the newly planted ‘Grand Monarch’ narcissus and one or two others of the ‘Paper White’ type narcissi. These were only planted less than a month ago. Weird having Spring bulbs while the Dahlia and Salvia and Chrysanthemums are still going strong.