Stars of Spring 2004

Spring 2004 has finally spring into action! In other words, the Moosey Two Thousand Daffodils and Two Blue Hyacinths Flower Festival is underway. It's a shining time in my gardening year, where the borders glitter with the Stars of Spring.

My Shortlist...

Oops - this is already the title of a national nursery buy-more-plants and therefore spend-more-dollars promotion. Hopefully the Moosey Garden will not be sued for breach of copyright - I'd better play it safe. Here is the shortlist for my very own, personal, Stars of Moosey-Spring Awards for the year 2004. Frilly show-off daffodils are not eligible.

1. Bergenias:

For producing massive flower-heads on the shortest stubbiest stems imagineable - after having the decency and flair to provide beautiful autumn red leaf colour. And for allowing the gardener to divide and duplicate you, generously, asking nothing in return except a little bit of watering...

 With hairy leaves.
Bergenia cilata

And for staggering your flowering times so that the most beautiful deep pink coloured bergenia flowers arrive at exactly the same time as a companion deep pink tulip...

2. Honesty:

For filling the spaces underneath the Wattle trees and the Gum trees and not finding this a problem - and also for producing beautiful understated white and purple flowers which are impossible to photograph. And understanding that variegation can be stylish, therefore providing two more versions of yourself with beautiful variegated leaves...

 Both forms are really beautiful when mass planted.
White and Purple Variegated Honesty Flowers

And for being the most basically honest plant that I've ever met!

 The leaves are about 15cm in length.
Species Tulip - Leaves Only

3. A Certain Species Tulip:

For having the strength of character to produce the most beautifully marked leaves, while having the complete cheek to have not one single flowering stem (nothing to spoil the foliage, thank you very much)...

And for being snug and low to the ground, so that the wind won't get you and shred your leaves to unattractive pieces...

And for being a conversation piece, attracting the discerning visitor's eye...

4. Prunus Blossom:

For being a boring, normal plum tree, generous with your fruit in late summer, but most of all for having decent solid spring blossom which doesn't float away with the first puff of wind. And for showing colour co-operation by flowering at the same time as the nearby bright yellow Wattle trees...

 Black Doris.
Plum Blossom

And for agreeing to be the feature flower in the table floral decorations for a friend's spring wedding...

 I love them.
Yellow Spring Daffodils

Reluctantly, I think I'll have to mention the daffodils. After all, hosts of golden, cream, lemon, apricot and white daffodils do tend to catch the eye, particularly from inside the house on a cold spring morning.

Daffodil Stars

Daffodils certainly keep the close-up button of the Moosey camera busy - in fact during this spring (September 2004) there has been a complete daffodil overload - in the house as well as in the Moosey garden! This is the first spring that I've really appreciated all their different colour combinations, too.

Even basic yellow is such a cheery colour - it evokes sunshine, warmth, butter and custard, golden wealth, and so on. I can't blame the daffodils for trying to steal the spring show.

But alongside the daffodil show-offs are the other shining spring stars listed above - they may be smaller and humbler in demeanour but they deserve the very best. That nursery promotion has been out-performed by the stars in my spring garden!