March 25

Early Yellows

IMG_1931The brilliant flowers of Adonis amurensis have opened despite the ongoing cold, and winter aconites (Eranthis hymelis) are a puddle of sunshine under an apple tree. These two stalwart beauties–one a perennial, the other a bulb–flower with the same determination as the snowdrops, and are in their prime right now. So many years ago, almost thirty-four, I dug up a tiny clump of winter aconites from my old yard and brought them to this new home, planting them under an ancient apple tree along what became my woodland path. Maybe four or five flowers bloomed that first spring. I knew aconites spread through seeding if they are happy. And so they did, year after year, spreading and multiplying slowly but steadily. For some years I counted to see how many new ones flowered–but when there were more than 50 I gave up. Now there is a great pool of these buttercup-yellow flowers opening wide above their Elizabethan ruff of leaves intermingling with snowdrops. A few have even cropped up on the other side of the path several yards away, and I hope they will carpet the ground there one day too. The adonis was a new plant to me a few years ago– a gift from a wonderful old-time gardener who has since died. Seeing their bold yellow buds thrust through the leafy brown debris of the woodland and open wide with a hint of warmth seems a tribute to our friend.