Florists are no longer reliable signallers of seasonal change: commercial growers supply jonquils and irises in autumn, and roses and orchids are available throughout the year. But I’ve always trusted the sequence of events in suburban gardens.
In the corner of my courtyard, an Iceberg standard rose still hangs on to a few windblown blooms, and there’s a brave, contorted Daphne perfuming the air just beyond. The blue hydrangea received its annual dead-heading a couple of days ago, but I’m not sure when to prune the roses.
Passing through Lower Hutt yesterday, I spotted a splendid pink magnolia beginning to break into bloom … which reminded me that, in Eastbourne, a week earlier, I’d photographed my first kōwhai flowers of the season.
There’s a pathetic little lilium longiflorum flower in a friend’s garden, but that might just be a symptom of climate change confusion.