Tag Archives: daffodils

Signs that Spring is on its Way and a Cover Reveal

The first day of spring, 20th March, is the release date for my latest book
A Symphony of Dragons, a date to look forward to.
So, I’m giving you a peek at the signs that Spring is on its way…

Signs that Spring is on its Way and a Cover Reveal | The Last Krystallos

Snowdrops bring us beauty on the edge of winter, arriving on the cusp of spring…

Snowdrops-Signs-of-spring-The-Last-krystallos

Snowdrops © Lisa Shambrook

Followed by hellebores giving us late winter roses, the crocus pushing through the earth with hope, and dainty primroses, the epitome of spring…

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Crocus, Hellebore and Primrose © Lisa Shambrook

Valentines offer love, passion and the first flush of pending spring romance…

Valentine-Signs-of-spring-The-Last-krystallos

Valentine © Lisa Shambrook

Light changes as days get longer and we are welcomed by dawn’s blush as we wake…

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Lighter Days © Lisa Shambrook

Daisies begin to brighten our lawns with friendly faces…

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Daisies © Lisa Shambrook

Trumpets of gold herald spring with the most famous flower of the season…

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Daffodils © Lisa Shambrook

Ballerina blossom, so delicate and flouncy like soft, thin cotton or candyfloss…

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Blossom © Lisa Shambrook

And new leaves sprout ready to dress the trees in finery and spring attire…

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New Growth © Lisa Shambrook

Magic arrives with fae and fantasy, sunshine and clarity, and I can introduce you to dragons…

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Magic © Lisa Shambrook

The first day of spring this year will bring a collection of tales interweaved with gossamer threads of dragon fire, and the first story will launch you into the seasons on the agile wings of dragons…

Lisa_Shambrook_Symphony_of_Dragons

Enjoy the flowers – lighter, longer days – romance – and the enchantment of spring.

And I’ll let you know as soon as A Symphony of Dragons is available…
You’re definitely going to want to discover the dragon that brings you spring…and those that compose summer, autumn and winter too!

Let the song of dragons lead you…

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Ten Winter Wonders of Nature

Jack Frost creates a winter wonderland as the temperature drops,
and nature still has a few gems up her sleeve as you don a scarf and hat…

Ten Winter Wonders of Nature | The Last Krystallos

This year hasn’t given us as much frost and lacy webs as I’d have liked;
it’s been a warm and rainy winter so far, but there’s still magic…

holly and ivy, the holly and the ivy, Ten Winter Wonders of Nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Holly and Ivy: two of the most iconic plants of winter and abundant at Christmas. Immortalised in song and gracing many, especially Victorian, Christmas cards.
Holly, with its red berries, is often pictured with robins, though an interesting fact shows it is rather the mistle thrush that is known for vigorously guarding the berries of holly in winter, to prevent other birds from eating them.  The tree was seen as a fertility symbol and a charm against witches, goblins and the devil. It was also thought to be unlucky to cut down a holly tree.
Ivy is a popular groundcover plant and found throughout woods and forests, climbing trees and weaving through the undergrowth.

daffodils, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Early daffodils and Narcissi (Narcissus): This year, with the warmth and rain, daffodils are flowering early. Generally small narcissi flower first, heralding spring and paving the way for the daffodils and their huge trumpets of colour, but this year in February they’re already throwing out their glorious golden trumpets to brighten the gloomy days.

frost evergreens, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

Frosted EvergreensNothing delights me more in winter than gazing at the garden decorated in icing sugar frost. Spider webs are encrusted with diamonds and sugar strands and glitter as the sun dances. Leaves and trees are dipped in ice and create a true winter wonderland. And last year’s Christmas tree grows a few more inches!

cyclamen, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Cyclamen: I’ve tried growing these as houseplants, but I’m not good at keeping plants alive indoors… I struggle a bit with cyclamen outside too, I don’t think they like my damp, clay soil! Still, I persevere every year because they’re so delicate and pretty with their bright red or pink, pastel pink, or white blooms and dark, heart-shaped leaves… One day I’d love a patch of naturalised cyclamen coum to cheer up winter.

hellebore, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

Hellebore: also known as the Christmas or Lenten Rose, are stunning additions in any winter garden. They grow into large clumps and can be divided or you can plant the little babies that grow from seed around the parent plant. I love their simplicity and beauty as they grace the garden with slightly drooping heads that, when lifted, often show a freckled face. I love the pinks, deep reds, and almost black flowers, but I particularly love the pure white with a lime green hint staining their petals.

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn: This is a favourite of mine as it flowers in clumps of pink blossom on bare, dark stems as winter progresses into spring. Strangely the leaves have a pungent smell which I rather dislike when touched, but the flowers have the most divine heady fragrance which makes up for the leaves.

moss and lichen, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Moss and Lichen: on bare branches and stone. When the season becomes sparse, and flowers are hard to find, if you look closer you can delight in the intricacies of lichen and moss. Grab a magnifying glass and search out the smaller pleasures of nature. There are numerous varieties of both; in the UK there are over 1,700 species of lichen and over 18,000 species worldwide. I love the curl and sage colour of common lichen found on trees and enhanced in winter on bare branches. Moss delights me, I cannot resist brushing my hand across a carpet of peridot moss, and they offer me my favourite colour! Rainy Wales and our woodlands are the most amazing places for moss. (I love moss so much I may well do a separate post in the future for it!)

bronze fennel, frosted fennel, fennel seedhead, ten winter wonders of nature,the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Fennel: I grow bronze fennel in my garden for the haze of purple it gives me in the summer. It grows tall and feathery, and then gives long stems and stunning seedheads in winter. When Jack Frost visits he always decorates the seedheads, creating even more works of art in my winter garden.

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Red Berries Cotoneaster: Cotoneaster comes in many varieties, from trees to shrubs and ground-cover. Red berries are the epitome of winter and every garden should have some!

snowdrop, ten winter wonders of nature, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Snowdrop (Galanthus): I’ve said it before, I adore the tiny British Snowdrop, I look forward to its little nodding head and vibrant green marks. It’s a sign that winter is beginning to draw to a close. It generally flowers before the vernal equinox marking the arrival of spring in the middle of March, but can flower from midwinter on. One of the most beautiful winter sights to me is a patch of snowdrops peeping through a fresh coating of snow…offering new growth and hope.

What are your favourite winter flowers?

What inspires you to wander winter’s woodlands and
what flora do you search out as Jack Frost bites?

10 Flowers that Embody Spring…

Spring has arrived and brought with it the first horticultural signs of new life…
feast your eyes on the beauty of Spring!

ten flowers that embody spring, spring flowers, spring, flowers, the last krystallos,These are the first signs in my part of the world…how do they compare to yours?

snowdrop, flowers, spring flowers, white flowers, the last krystallos,

Snowdrop © Lisa Shambrook

Snowdrop (Galanthus): I adore the tiny British Snowdrop, I look forward to its little nodding head and vibrant green marks. It’s a sign that winter is beginning to draw to a close. It generally flowers before the vernal equinox marking the arrival of spring in the middle of March, but can flower from midwinter on.

vinca, periwinkle, blue, purple, purple flowers, the last krystallos,

Vinca © Lisa Shambrook

Vinca (commonly known as periwinkle): This always delights me with that shock of purple spreading like a carpet of blue across the woodland floor and winding up tree stumps. In India the plant is known as sadaphuli meaning ‘always flowering’.

scilla, blue, spring, flowers, blue flowers, the last krystallos,

Scilla © Lisa Shambrook

Scilla: Blue seems to be the colour for spring, and the dainty, delicate Scilla peeps out of the bare ground in the early months of the year. It’s usually native to woodlands and meadows where I live.

chionodoxa, blue, star, flower, blue flowers, spring, the last krystallos,

Chionodoxa © Lisa Shambrook

Chionodoxa: Another beautiful blue bulb known as glory-of-the-snow also opens its petals in the early months, and produces some of the truest blue in all horticulture. Its tiny starry-eyed flowers brighten up the early months.

narcissi family, narcissi, narcissus, daffodils, daffs, sunshine yellow, yellow flowers, the last krystallos,

Narcissus Family © Lisa Shambrook

Daffodil/Narcissi (Narcissus): Perhaps the most famous spring flowers in every array of sunshine yellow you can imagine. Generally small narcissi flower first, heralding spring and paving the way for the daffodils and their huge trumpets of colour.

primroses and cowslips, spring flowers, yellow flowers, meadows, yellow, spring, the last krystallos,

Primroses and Cowslips © Lisa Shambrook

Primroses (Primula vulgaris) and cowslips (Primula veris): Meadow flowers that spread through fields, woodlands and everywhere they can. The primrose was Benjamin Disraeli’s favourite flower, and cowslips are my mother’s favourite. Hardy and one of the first splashes of creamy yellow as the days get warmer.

wild violets, violet, purple, flowers, purple flowers, spring, the last krystallos,

Wild Violets © Lisa Shambrook

Wild violets (Violaceae): As much as I love pansies and violas, I can’t imagine spring without the tiny wild violets that pop up from nowhere and spread through the garden’s nooks and crannies, and their colours are softly beautiful.

qxalis, wood sorrel, common wood sorrel, woodland flowers, white flowers, spring flowers, the last krystallos,

Oxalis © Lisa Shambrook

Oxalis (Oxalis acetosella): There are many varieties of oxalis, but the common wood sorrel is the one I love best. The fragile petals have delicate stripes in the palest of pink and remind me of fairy dresses. The leaves can be eaten, but are quite sour.

wood anemone, fairy wings, white flowers, spring flowers, woodland flowers, woodland, the last krystallos,

Wood Anemone © Lisa Shambrook

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa): These white flowers can be starry shaped or have big petals like fairy wings, and swathe the woodland floor in March and April like a galaxy of stars. One of my all-time delicate favourites.

forget-me-not, blue flowers, spring flowers, the last krystallos,

Forget-me-not © Lisa Shambrook

Forget-me-not (Myosotis): Another true blue of the horticultural world. In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.”. These are truly unforgettable sky-blue little flowers that in a clump can look simply stunning.

bluebells, purple flowers, bells, bell flowers, wooodland flowers, the last krystallos,

Bluebells © Lisa Shambrook

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta): This flower becomes your bonus (number eleven) in this post. It’s my favourite flower and will have a post all of its own…but for now…enjoy another bonus of spring and the prominent blue that blankets the woodland in April and May.

Like I said…this is my little corner of the world, Wales in the UK…
how fares yours this Spring?

What are your favourite Spring flowers?

If you’d like to see more of my flower photography please take a look at my
Flickr page and The Shutterworks Photoblog