Two days of relentless gales had flattened my newly flowering daffodils.
I rescued what I could and bought the flowers inside to enjoy.
I see today that the remaining leaves and damaged flowers have almost returned to their previous height. Winter is very much with us still despite these early spring flowers showing a brave face to remind us of things yet to come.
This afternoon the weather people have issued a heavy snow warning for my part of New Zealand. They suggest the snow will fall overnight and tomorrow morning on hills at around 300 metres.
Will it happen? I don’t know. Snow falling here is a rare event but it has happened in the past. It is certainly bitterly cold here as we head into a second week of very low temperatures, biting winds and plenty of rain. Earlier predictions of a warm winter are a distant memory now.
However this magnolia bud about to burst forth is a result of the warmer conditions we enjoyed up until 10 days ago. It is a very early bud.
This brave daffodil is more “on time” as they do flower earlier here than the date that officially marks spring.
With snow forecast then this Edelweiss flowering in the garden is not looking so foreign right now.
Wikipedia offers this: Edelweiss (English pronunciation i/ˈeɪdəlvaɪs/, from German [ˈeːdəlvaɪs]; systematic name Leontopodium alpinum or Leontopodium nivale ssp.), is a well-known mountain flower, belonging to the sunflower family.
The plant is unequally distributed and prefers rocky limestone places at about 1800–3000 m altitude. It is non toxic, and has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. The dense hair appears to be an adaptation to high altitudes, protecting the plant from cold, aridity and ultraviolet radiation. As a scarce short-lived flower found in remote mountain areas, the plant has been used as a symbol for alpinism, for rugged beauty and purity associated with the Alps, and as a national symbol especially of Austria and of Switzerland.
The sky is clear and blue, the wind brisk and icy. It is winter. But nature has provided sweet fragrance in the kitchen today as the young Daphne bush is covered in pretty white and pale pink, waxy flowers. Three sprigs, snipped and put in a vase are providing the most divine scent in the living area.
And this Freesia is bravely heralding a spring that is yet to come.
Yesterday I walked down to the stand of cherry blossom trees that was planted on city council reserve some years back in honour of our sister city Nishio, Japan. The display this year is breath-taking. Beneath these trees are millions of spring bulbs, which have almost finished flowering now but they were a picture a few weeks ago too.
Whoever thought of this initiative deserves to be acknowledged and thanked for the special pleasure this area brings.