Spring Frost

Winterthur, Delaware on April 4, 2021

Legacy of Henry Francis du Pont, 1880-1969, American

 

 

So happy every time I am to be walking into the woods at Winterthur

 

 

 

 

This last week has seen at least two nights of freezing temperatures.

 

A week after my last visit, a large-leafed flower of a blue-purple not yet seen catches my eye:

 

 

the leaf hiding a Virginia Bluebell 

 

the extravagant Virginia Bluebell with its green-green large leaves, now beginning to lord it over the long lasting Glory-of-the-Snow

 

 

 

Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica)

 

 

Not that the Glory-of-the-Snow have let go their grip yet.  I have seen them floating over a coating of snow and a little frost does not do them damage. 

Their coronets and carpets everywhere

 

 

 

 

in the protection of tree roots also:

 

 

 

 

although this year they are very scarce in the peony bed

 

 

the immature peony bushes looking out to see what gives

 

 

 

 

Here and there a few Italian windflowers have survived freezing nights

 

 

Italian windflower (Anemone appenina)

 

 

and an entire slope of the delicate pink-veined Spring Beauty also

 

 

 

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

 

 

The dawn redwood, my personal totem, has finally dropped all its seed pods

 

 

 

 

 

The Sundial putti point to the watery kingdom of Hippocampus

 

 

 

 

 

whose waters have been cleared of the leaves of last year

 

 

 

 

Hippocampus is now able to look down at the patterns formed by the aquatic plants sunk into its waters for flowering in summer

 

 

 

 

at the same time as the lilac azalea which surround it and for which I long:

 

 

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Hippocampus surrounded by lilac azalea in the summer every year

 

 

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The damage  and flowering-delays of freezing nights in the last week are clear.

 

 

 

 

 

the early rhododendron has lost its early crown, its flowers discoloured and bedraggled like wet tutus.

 

 

 

 

the flowers of the Star Magnolia, which have not yet shed its petals, are likewise burnt by the frost

 

 

Star Magnolia beyond the leafing Sargent Crabapple

 

Star magnolia flowers today

 

 

Likewise Magnolia Soulangeana which flowers not long after the Star Magnolia

 

 

Magnolia Soulangeana

 

 

 

 

 

The crabapples are struggling out of their grays also

 

 

An avenue of flowering crabapple bushes, normally red-orange fire at this time of year, has yet to shake off its winter grays

 

 

 

The flowering of the spirea is later than usual this year

 

 

The cherry trees are wraithed and not wreathed this year

 

 

Cherry trees

 

 

The Ipheion in a circle around the carmine crabapple tree are sparse this year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daffodils on slopes have yet to erupt:

 

 

 

 

their banners carried by others planted, warm and cozy, inside Winterthur’s buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the Forsythia is waltzing with a juvenile conifer in anticipation of warming days…

 

 

 

 

So who am I not to dance also? 

 

 

Especially since last year, these magnificent grounds were closed at this time of year.

 

Their only visitor was the Covid-19 virus stalking human prey.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Spring Frost

  1. Oui……….mais pas seulement ce jardin: il avait tout un monde pour lui tout seul: Paris, Londres, Tokyo, Addis Ababa,: tout un monde!!

    Sarah

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