In chorus, the air above the fields begins to fill with honey-like smell and the eyes do not have enough of the golden yellow catkins, the culprit of that commotion. Unnoticeable until yesterday, now goat willow is becoming fluffier and fluffier with every hour.
Blue squill like peace, yellow catkins like ripen cereal. A beautiful couple.
Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) has fortunately nothing to do with Siberia. It is native to the Caucasus and Turkey from where it began its long journey to our gardens. This bulbous plant is a typical wanderer whom some gardeners find rather disobedient as it likes to escape from enclosed territories. Nobody sees how it does it but some get slightly angry because of that skill and go even a step further and call Siberian squill... invasive, which sounds a bit unfair. If you ask me, green lawns speckled with cobalt dots look quite impressive, especially after a long and colourless winter.
Goat willow (Salix caprea) is a much underappreciated big shrub or small tree. It grows everywhere that is why nobody sees it. Well, the fact is that neither its leaves nor the shape is extremely sophisticated. But goat willow is a great botany educator. Observing its sleeping buds slowly begin to come to life is like watching a miracle happen. The moment we can see the silver hairs poking out, we are given proof that spring is just around the corner. Sometimes the proof means a rather distant corner, nevertheless, silver catkins are eventually right and they herald it to the whole world turning strikingly bright yellow. But only the male ones. The female catkins (yes, such catkins do exist, on a different totally and only female plants) are modestly green. They are patiently waiting for the pollen to land on them and trigger another miracle to happen: seed formation.
If you are not afraid of innocently invasive Siberian squill, if you like to enjoy observing incredible botanical phenomena and love to be seduced by honey smelling golden catkins, do not hesitate and buy some bulbs of scilla (there are several other species and cultivars, not only blue) and a plant or two of goat willow (weeping forms: 'Pendula' or 'Curly Locks' look really spectacular) and find a good spot for them in the garden: for scilla in a rock garden, under trees or bushes or scattered in the lawn, for goat willow everywhere, providing there is a lot of sun there. Remember, goat willow likes moisture.
Taking immense pleasure in the blue and yellow colours of today's protagonists let us not forget about their symbolic meanings mentioned earlier: peace and bread, and listen to a beautiful song from the country where the two colours together have a very special significance, especially now.