Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Sortie through the Season: Spring Arrives

In Washington, spring is a very long, elegant season, a stately progression, with the first harbingers in January, and continuing into May. Shortly after President Obama's inauguration, winter flowering jasmine, jasminum nudiflorum, opened its golden trumpet-shaped blooms, followed closely, and certainly before Valentine's Day, by Chinese witch-hazel, hamamelis mollis. The later is beloved of botanists for its early and fragrant flowers, golden threads that roll up like party favors when threatened by frost, to emerge unscathed on a better day. The fragrance is a combination of citrus and honey, light and delicious. Many early-flowering plants are fragrant- a reward for surviving the dark days?

This year, I'm photographing the forward progress of spring, first installment herewith. Above, see a Chinese witch-hazel photographed in the serpentine garden next to the Smithsonian and a pink
flowering apricot, prunus mume, one of two in front of the Air & Space Museum, on March 1st. Note a dusting of snow on the ground!

1 comment:

  1. Jo! I'm smiling. Every March I certainly notice the forsythia and the little purple flowers that come out of the ground early, but what? you're telling me there are others? Thanks so much for these shots. This makes me want to get out and see more. Smithsonian you say? Last year I actually talked my daughter into going down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms with me. Gotta do that again. It was worth the crowds. There are cherry blossoms all over dc actually.