It’s January and the beautiful-looking and beautifully-scented Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) is in full bloom, with soft feather duster-like flowers pouring aniseed-scented perfume into the warmer than average air.
Not only this, but there are insects to be found everywhere, as there is little or no frost. Even now the Green Shieldbugs are changing from their brown winter colours to the green that gives them their name.
However, unusually for so early in January, the leafy spikes of daffodils have already broken through the surface of the clay, and are far in advance of last winter. The warm soil-temperatures and general lack of cold, and particularly frost, have led to this unusual situation. But there is one plant that puts the rubber stamp to an Irish spring, and that’s the crocus. So far I haven’t found any above ground or flowering, but they are not easy to find until their bright flowers burst open, which will very likely be very soon.
So, if you’re tired of snow and frost and ice, hop on a plane or ferry and come to Wicklow to see a wonderful early spring where temperatures are well above freezing and there are even summer garden plants still blossoming…with daffodil flowers coming shortly.