Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Heralds of Spring.

Walking around the garden this morning, after having had a week of heavy frosts, and torrential gales last night, I see evidence of the first signs of Spring in the abundance of bulb shoots pushing their way through the soil. I always feel it's a bit like meeting old friends again, in that, like your best friends, they stay with you throughout your life. Year after year they are faithful in appearing once more in all their glory. Each one is a joy, each heralding the coming Spring.

We have many varieties of snowdrops, aconites, grape hyacinths, crocuses, cammassias, alliums, anemones, daffodils and tulips to greet us on our daily walks, from January all the way through till June. Many of the bulbs were bought from catalogues or Garden Centres over the years. Others were given to us as presents, which makes them doubly precious, as they are forever associated with their giver.

Our aconites come into this category. When we first came here sixteen years ago, and went to the local church, a dear lady, an octogenarian by then, baked us a loaf of bread to welcome us, the newest family, to the village. As our friendship grew we realised we both shared a passion for our gardens. We exchanged many seeds and cuttings over the years and enjoyed walking in each other's garden.

The best present we received from her, however, were five little aconites, which by last Spring had multiplied to a grand total of thirty. My friend passed away two years ago, but each Spring when I see her aconites, I remember our friendship and feel we are saying hello to each other once more.

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