by Stephen Andrews (単語・表現リスト by Shigeri Nishide)
Have you noticed them yet?
Have you noticed those little spots of colour cropping up* everywhere in gardens and parks?
Spring has sprung*, the days are growing warmer and, gradually, some of the British gardener’s favourite blooms are squeezing their way up through the earth and peeping at us as we walk by.
So what spring flowers should you be looking out for in the typical British garden or your local park?
Snowdrops, with their small, white, pretty flowers, are one of the earliest spring arrivals, often poking* their heads above blankets of* snow. They’re a cheerful sight in the garden, grass verges* and parks, flowering when little else will, heralding* the beginning of spring.
Daffodils add a splash of brilliant yellow to the season and spring up everywhere. Look out for them in the park or woods, where they form thick, vivid clusters stretching out beneath the trees. British people love them and one of the most celebrated English poets, William Wordsworth, wrote a famous poem in praise of them:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er* vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Crocuses with their small, goblet shaped flowers, come in a huge array of shades – yellow, blue, lavender, purple and orange. As well as being perfect for garden borders and pots, British gardeners often plant them in their lawns to add flashes of colour in the grass. Oh, and bees love them, too, because they produce lots of pollen!
Bluebells, so-named because their small pendant blooms look just like tiny bells, are a native British flower also known as wood bells, fairy flowers and wild hyacinth. There’s nothing more magical than seeing them in their natural woodland habitat, where they form huge swathes* of vivid violet. Watch out for them appearing in April and May.
Hyacinths are one of the most-loved spring flowers in Britain, thanks to their gorgeous, intense scent and spikes of bright colours like red, yellow, mauve* and orange. They’re very popular as a garden border plant. But, if you live in town and only have a small space instead of a spacious garden, you can grow them quite easily in pots!
Where to see spring colour in London
London has more beautiful parks and green spaces for its size than any other large city, some right in the centre of town. So it’s the perfect place to see striking spring flower displays.
Kew Gardens, Richmond
Kew Gardens, one of the world’s largest botanical gardens, guarantees carpets of flowers all year round, but the gardens truly come alive in spring; an impressive five million flowers are planted in this picturesque spot. For bluebells and crocuses, visit the Natural Area where you can enjoy 37 acres of natural woodland.
Hampstead Heath, Hampstead
‘The Heath’ as it’s popularly known, is a large, ancient London heathland and woodland covering 790 acres. Great for an outdoors stroll at any time of the year, during spring you’ll discover crocuses, daffodils and bluebells in the Heath’s woods. Head to Kenwood House at the north of the Heath for magnificent displays of magnolia* and rhododendron*.
Richmond Park, Richmond
Don’t miss the Isabella Plantation, an area of Victorian woodland located near the Broomfield Hill entrance to the Park. It boasts an amazing display of narcissi* growing on the lawn. You’ll also discover a Japanese species of magnolia, the beautiful ‘Fuji Cherry’*, boasting small white flowers and pink-tinged* buds. It’s also home to the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaleas, brought over in the 1920s from Japan by plant collector Ernest Wilson.
St James’s Park, Westminster
St James’s Park is the perfect place to visit if you’d like to see huge, colourful clusters of daffodils and tulips close to London’s West End. Every spring, the Memorial Garden, situated right in front of Buckingham Palace, is filled with around 50,000 yellow wallflowers* and red tulips to form one of the most dazzling* displays in the capital.
Syon House, Isleworth
Syon House and Gardens, to the West of London, is well-known for its grand stately house and ornamental gardens. But it also boasts 200 acres of wild grassland, park and woodland. In the arboretum* area you’ll discover a huge variety of plants and flowers, including a spring meadow of primroses and cowslips.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, West London
Nestled* within over 60 acres of historic gardens is the Hampton Court Palace Wilderness. This beautiful space is a wild meadow* filled with wildlife all year round and is at its most colourful in early April, when a sea of over a million daffodils and other flowering bulbs spring into life. This spectacle is complemented by the beautiful cherry trees, which also blossom in the spring.
Spring is everywhere
The great thing about spring flowers is that they’re a determined bunch* and tend to pop up everywhere – even if you can’t travel far because of lockdown, you’re bound to see magnificent displays in your local park or back garden.
So enjoy – and have a colourful spring!
crop up : 急に現れる
spring has sprung: 動詞のspring（急に現れる、飛び出すの意味）の過去分詞sprungを使って、「急に春らしくなった」という意味を表している
poke : pokeは他の意味もありますが、ここでは「突き出す」感じ
a blanket of : (雪などで)覆われているエリア
verge : 道、歩道などの へり
herald : もうすぐ何かが起こるというサイン、先触れ、前触れ
o’er : overのこと。詩などで使われる
swathe : 細長いエリア
mauve : うすい紫色
magnolia : 木蓮
narcissi : narcissus (スイセン)の複数形
Fuji Cherry : マメザクラ（富士桜）
tinged : （色など）少しまざった
wallflower : ウォールフラワー（お花の一種）
dazzling : very impressive and attractive
arboretum : 森林（公園）
nestled : 囲まれている
meadow : 草原
bunch : グループ