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Occasional drama is what you want in an herbaceous border, to wake up the sleepy hordes of daisies and well-bred bellflowers
-Anna Pavord

Russell of Spring

spring flowers russell square

Spring flowers

Lashings of sunshine instead of rain so a warm, very dry start to Spring here in London at least and already the rivers of Daffodils are drying up.

white spring blossom montage

What shrub?

A mystery shrub – first impressions were of  a Sarcococca flowering out of season but a double take revealed sturdy, toothed leaves of dark blue-grey-green foliage studded with multiples of stark white flower clusters. Since this was growing in dappled shade, the blooms had an eye-catching impact with a fragrance that delighted both bees and flies…

[And thanks to the Welsh wisdom of Wellywoman have an id now. Osmanthus delavayi - hardier but not as fragrant as O. fragrans!]

Japanese quince 'Moerloosei' montage

Japanese quince 'Moerloosei'?

Like miniature  orchards dotting the borders, there are Japanese quince in apple blossom mode. White blooms maturing to carmine blushes and even the leaves resemble Malus. Surely these are Chaenomeles speciosa ’Moerloosei’ – one of the early flowering shrubs from the Orient that blooms in naked elegance along spiny stems? Yet there were no evident prickles here and although spineless species are available for more sensitive gardeners, I can find no evidence that this applies to the apple blossoming ‘Moerloosei’. Can anyone enlighten me?

Seems to me that the blossoms also have the look of Hellebores and so I would underplant with these even if bloom times are not fully coincidental too. A succession of similars  is after all a unifying theme which ties design to the garden.

apple blossom quince

'apple blossom' japanese quince


four aspects of spring

spring quartet

When there is so much happening in the borders, vision is readily fixated on the eye-level horizontals so that I nearly missed the heavenly glory of the hazel filigree up above. At the other extreme, it made a change to feast my eyes on the chocolate-brown tones of last year’s leaves after so much gushing greenery or to cast a long-lasting look at the fallen, aged forms of Camellias.  In the copper beech hedgerows birds are staking their claim whilst  last year’s nest is testament to the raising of an urban family in the full throng of traffic and pedestrian bustle at the park gates.

shadow silhouettes in Spring sunshine

shadow games

At mid-morning, silhouettes of trees are felled  along the pathways so that me and my shadow can stand together with the Black Poplar and be dwarfed by a London Plane  that appears to be casting warning fingers at the park contractors. The curious Jack Russell was game enough to join in…whilst his Schnauzer friend went one further, managing to blend and meld into the tracery of hedgerow shades.

Schnauzer in the shade

camouflaged Schnauzer

All this and so much more from a dash through Russell Square on the last day of March but with a Northerly cold front due for Easter, here is a Scandinavian’s  ‘Rustle of Spring’

©Copyright 2012 Laura Thomas.
All rights reserved. Content created by Laura Thomas @PatioPatch

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