Spring colours — and all aspects of spring, as we said a few weeks ago — gladden the heart. But have you ever noticed that Spring flowers are mostly yellow and blue? Think daffodils, like those above, grape hyacinths, a drift of bluebells…
Spring colours: is white included?
If white is a colour — is it? — I suppose I should add white as well.
Snowdrops, after all, signify the end of winter and the coming, eventually, of Spring. And of course, much of the fruit blossom around us in April is essentially white. Like the wild cherry blossom shown right, glistening in the sunlight.
Hereford, where I live, is apple orchard country. We have acres of white blossom for a few weeks every Spring. Later, we have apples and our wonderful Hereford cider. Nothing more refreshing to drink on a hot day.
Spring colours to brighten the grey weather to come
Here in the UK, we had wonderful weather for the Easter weekend but, according to the forecast, this blog weekend will be be colder, wetter and a lot windier. That means at least some of the blossom won’t be around for long.
So, in a spirit of celebration of the Spring colours, and the short-lived fruit blossom, I thought I should share some of the glorious Spring colours we can enjoy just now. I’ll even try to find some that are not yellow or blue 🙂 though there aren’t many.
Starting with yellow, from the marsh marigolds (with white candelabra primula) set off by the acid green fresh leaves of the acer palmatum. The dome-shaped acer (Japanese maple) is shown more clearly in the picture on the right:
The marsh marigolds glow like little sunshine stars, especially when they’re turning towards bright sunlight. Sadly, that won’t be happening this weekend.
More blue too?
Graduating to blue and its near relations, purple, violet and lavender. Shown above is clematis alpina which is one of the earliest to flower. Shown below is a carpet of miniature phlox, in the palest of lavender blues. It doesn’t flower for long, but it’s gorgeous while it does.
Don’t forget the white…
And of course there’s lots more white too, especially on the trees.
Shown left is amelanchier canadensis, a fabulous tree for a small garden. It has spring blossom, summer berries (beloved of blackbirds that do acrobatics to grab them) and rich red autumn colour too.
But I’m still a great fan of the silvery whitebeam, as I said in our first Spring blog. Mine is now in its full glory. See for yourself the pale colour of the new leaves and flowers. You can see the whole tree again below, shining out like a silver beacon against the darker trees around it. There are marigolds in the pond in the foreground, but they’re outclassed, aren’t they?
Spring colours besides yellow, blue and white?
There are more colours. And assuming you are now bored by images of blue, yellow and white, I’ll happily share a few.
Right is a solitary fritillary that somehow seeded into the grass in my garden. It’s not really in the blue spectrum; more a reddish purple. There is however a yellow intruder. Of course there is!
Don’t you have dandelions in your garden too?
The flowers below are gorgeous but not exactly natives. They’re camellias, a species that originated in Asia. The pink one is Camellia x williamsii Debbie; the red one is also a Camellia x williamsii but sadly I’ve forgotten what the variety is called. (The x williamsii camellias have the great advantage that their flowers fall off by themselves when they’re spent. Unlike species camellias, they don’t turn into horrible brown mushy lumps on the bush that have to be picked off by hand.)
I hoped I’ve managed to cheer up this grey weekend with a little colour.
Taking the photos certainly made me smile.
Thank you, Joanna, for that lovely evocation of spring. Spring colours are so full of hope, aren’t they? Energising, too, I think.
Thanks, Sarah. Since it’s pretty grey, wet and miserable down here in the Midlands, I thought the blog ought to try to cheer us up. Energising is the right word for Spring colours, even if they are mostly blue and yellow 😉
A lovely set of pictures and evocation of spring, made better in my case as I read it at breakfast whilst looking out onto the apple tree in our garden which is absolutely smothered in white blossom. (I was thinking ‘I really should have pruned that over the winter but it’s too late now.). However, I have to say that I don’t see snowdrops as foretelling the end of winter: when they appear across my front garden it normally means that the worst of the weather is to come, though not this year as February was so unseasonably warm.
I envy you your fritillary as most of the colour in my lawn is provided by numerous dandelions, though they are actually quite pretty if you look at them in the right way and forget that they are about to seed all across your flower beds. One yellow plant you missed is the humble cowslip; we have a few in our lawn but they are spreading like wildfire across the local part of the north downs since the council changed its hay cutting schedule to favour wild flowers. And the last time I walked our friend’s dog there were whole walls of white blossom from the blackthorn bushes lining the paths.
Welcome, Mike, and thanks for the comment. I wish I had more than that single fritillary. I suppose I could plant some bulbs? But at the moment I have just one, and every year, it comes us as a singleton flower. The dandelions, on the other hand, come up in droves. If we have any cowslips, I missed them though I think they’re lovely. We do have some blackthorn in the laid hedge but I didn’t think to take any pics of that. Bit of a failure on my part, that.
Oh I love your photographs. They remind me of a Garden Event in Oxford maybe 5 years ago, when we went through the Fellows’ Garden at Magdelen. We were lured in to see the snake’s head fritillaries – like yours only the meadow was pretty much full of them.
But the real joy was a great swathe of rolling bank side studded with low growing spring bulbs, including miniature daffodils and every colour of crocus you can imagine, yellow and purple and stripey Wedgewood blue and white…. It looked like a Mediaeval tapestry, only just freshly embroidered. Or maybe a picture in a Book ofHours. I can still see it my mind’s eye.
Thank you for reminding me.
My pleasure, Sophie. Sadly, we have no crocuses in the garden so I have no pics of those. But in my mind’s eye, I can see your Medieval tapestry. And, as I said to Mike, we have only that single fritillary. Personally, I love the white ones but we have none of those. Really beautiful flowers, and native too.
What lovely photos. I adore this time of the year.
Welcome, Lydia. Yes, Spring can be inspiring, can’t it? And energising too.
Great pictures. I love fritillary, so rare and special. Thanks for sharing.
I do so agree about fritillaries. They’re supposed to need wettish ground but my singleton seeded itself into the side of a well-drained bank. No accounting for tastes. I just wish it would reproduce and give me a few more.