Is it spring yet? No, not yet: there's still a little while to go, yet Rosita Missoni's garden in sunny Sumirago keeps blooming. Snowdrops and sowbread are popping out of the grass, which is unusually green for this time of the year; an unseasonable warmth that seems to have awakened the Mexican orange, an evergreen shrub with clusters of scented pure white flowers. Also in bloom are the poisonous lenten rose with its unusual green petals and the lovely-smelling yellow flowers of the sweetshrub.
February is a good month for colourful flowers: the forsythia is an explosion of bright yellow petals, and all around the lawns are the vivid splashes of colour of the tall and pretty purple irises, the supermodels of wildflowers. The most spectacular of all, however, is the beautiful, poetic Japanese Cherry, also known as sakura, wìth its dainty pink flowers that so many of us have learned to associate with the most romantic moments in Japanese animation. Soon enough its branches are going to start shedding their silky petals in the wind, as melancholy piano music plays in the background and young lovers stare at each other, mesmerised by their own emotions.
See previous flowerings: