The very first daffodil blooms have been spotted this week at Willowwood! They are just starting to make a cheerful and very welcome show in the Alfalfa Field along the drive and in the Winter Garden. Keep watching over the next weeks as more and more varieties appear.
Siberian squill, Scilla siberica, has carpeted large areas of the cottage garden in an energetic blue. It has also popped up in the Rockery and the beds on the slope between the Roserie and Pan’s Garden.
You can also find spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum), ivy-leaved cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium), and lungwort, (Pulmonaria sp.) blooming in the Rockery now. Plenty of hellebores are flowering in garden beds all over Willowwood.
There are some gorgeous woody plants in bloom this week as well. Look for the cornelian cherry, Cornus mas, and its relative, Cornus macrophylla, just as you go through the entrance gate on the left. Both are covered in delicate yellow flowers, as is the large cornelian cherry next to the Rockery.
As you walk across the lawn between the stone barn and the greenhouse, stop to take in the strong and deliciously sweet scent of winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, with its creamy white flowers and pale pink buds.
For those brave enough, contrast this pleasing fragrance with a whiff of the stinky flowers of skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, found alongside the path in the Woodwalk. The mottled maroon and green hooded flowers of these fascinating wetland plants have a sci-fi look about them, and even have the rare ability to generate their own heat. The extra warmth given off by the flowers helps spread their foul scent and attract early pollinators like flies. This year, given the recent warm temperatures, perhaps these plants have not needed to spend as much energy as usual on heating up!
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