Spring! Probably my favorite season. And for me, yellow is the color of Spring.
A couple of days ago we enjoyed a bright, sunny – and almost warm – day. Not quite as warm as last weekend, but nevertheless a very welcome change from the dreary wet weather we have experienced here in the UK over the past three months. It has been the wettest winter on record, and some parts of the country are still flooded (and have been since before Christmas). Where I live in north Worcestershire we’ve had quite a mild winter, only a few frosty mornings, and no snow whatsoever. Now high pressure is dominating, and the jet stream – and its accompanying Atlantic storms, so much a feature of recent months – has been forced to the north. Looks like we are about to enjoy a spot of settled weather for a couple of weeks. But these conditions do have their down side – they have brought the fog today.
Nevertheless, Spring is clearly in the air. The days are getting longer, and the birds have started their dawn chorus. That’s another welcome sign right now – but in a few weeks when it’s warm enough to leave the bedroom windows open over night, the dawn chorus might not be quite so welcome if one is trying to grab a couple more hours sleep. You can hear what the birds in our garden sound like here.
Yellow is definitely the color of better things to come – weather and season-wise. As the gloom of winter comes to an end, Spring can creep up imperceptibly sometimes. One day there seems to be no life in the garden whatsoever. And the next – the first signs of life, the first green shoots. And before you know it, the early Spring flowers are in bloom.
First come the winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis), followed by the snowdrops, crocuses (glorious carpets of gold, while and purple), lesser celandines (Ranunuculus ficaria), and before you know, the daffodils are ‘sounding’ the joys of Spring through their golden trumpets. Along the main A38 road close by where I live, the embankments are covered in these glorious yellow displays indicating that Spring has truly arrived. The Forsythia is also just beginning to open, and very soon the tulips will be pointing their cup-shaped blooms skywards. The primroses, oxslips and cowslips (Primula spp.) are just beginning to show.
Seeing all these wonderful yellow-flowered plants beginning to bloom is clearly a sign that the worst of winter has passed. But perhaps not completely – Mother Nature can often have a sting in her tale. Only 12 months back the UK was covered in a thick blanket of snow; and it’s not unknown (but highly unusual) for it to snow as late as the beginning of June. That’s unlikely this year (famous last words). In fact it has been so mild that we’ve had anemones flowering all winter in our front garden – plants that are usually at their best in late Spring. They began to perk up last Autumn and have been flowering ever since. But as climate change affects the weather patterns more and more, I hope we don’t ever lose the early season glory that is Spring – bathed in yellow.