For obvious reasons, the winter has felt extra cold and extra hard and extra dark this year. To me, this makes the spring feel sweeter and more sacred, and today I just want to celebrate that by sharing some of my photos of this season coming into fullness where I live, here in Reading.
As in every previous year, the cherry blossoms in the Harris Gardens are beautiful beyond belief. Today we went and it was the busiest it’s ever been; our community seems to specially appreciate the annual magnificence of the blossom, this year.
There is a large tree by the entrance of the garden, which always to me looks like the nicest place in the world to sit awhile…
…and glorious yellow stands of daffodils on verges all over the campus…
…and today I espied a mystery tree with tiny flowers which have a sort of skirt of stamens. If anyone knows what these are, I would love to hear from you!
I also found this Magnolia blossom, which I think looks like a firework or a star.
At home in our garden, I am feeling grateful for the years we have been here, and the trees that we have planted along the way. I remember the Damson tree going in the ground around 2008? or maybe 2009? Just a little stick.
Now it looks like this…
…and stands maybe ten or eleven feet off the ground.
The walnut tree has not come into bloom yet, but it’s got buds and is getting ready to TURBO. I remember when we planted this, too. A twig in a bag of mud, from a friend of Marks’ at work, over a decade ago. Now a towering beauty of a tree…
…and every year it grows, it gets more and more walnuts, of which we have fewer and fewer as the local squirrel population discover its bounty. I love this tree so much. And I’m happy I wrote about it in the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook and knitted from it for this swatch, because somehow the two things – the tree itself and the creative process which it inspired – amplify the joy and meaning that this tree holds in my life.
I could say the same for the cherry blossoms in the Harris Gardens, which I celebrated in my Shawl in the Playbook…
…and the Mulberry tree outside my studio, which is also featured in the Playbook.
Today, taking photos of these familiar friends – the Damson, the Cherry trees, the Walnut, the Mulberry and so many others – I found myself feeling deeply moved by their enduring presence in my life. I am so thankful for the influence these trees exercise over my creativity, and for the affirming effect that recording their glorious lives in my knitting has had in terms of deepening my affinity and appreciation for their beauty, and grounding me in this place which we all share.
I feel like we’ve all been in hiding, waiting for hope and light, in blossoms and in stitches.
YOURS IN ALL THE BUDS BEGINNING TO OPEN AT LAST –
6 thoughts on “The annual joy of blossom”
I think the “mystery tree” is a box elder/ash-leaved maple (Acer negundo). Or it could be some ash species. In either case those would be male flowers.
Ah you star – just run a search on “Acer Negundo” and you’re absolutely right! Thanks so much for clearing up the mystery!
My pleasure! I stopped working as a gardener 25 years ago but still cannot resist a botanical mystery…
Wish you all the best and an abundance of joy and spring flowers!
It all looks so lovely this time of the year and your photos do it justice. I’m always saying I will go th the Harris garden but never got there, so that’s my challenge for this year. I could even walk to it which makes it worse for not having been. Take care love Mary (cousin) xx
I believe the yellow and white flowers are jonquils and are a type of daffodil.
Yaaaaay for spring ❤️❤️❤️