Has Spring Sprung?

When does spring begin? It is very hard to tell in Northland where the seasonal changes are not abrupt. Is it when the first daffodils open? Definitely not because some have been out for weeks. Perhaps it is when the hydrangeas start into life again after pruning but that’s not precise. The subtropicals don’t give a good guide—many look their very worst at this time of year. Some have a brief deciduous period after holding onto their increasingly tatty looking foliage all winter. Time to prune the hibiscus. I think I’ll give the honour of the Herald of Spring to the Pleione. A few flowers opened on the 1st September. I suppose that’s at least three weeks before the meteorologists say Spring begins on the solstice –21st September