There are some remarkably flamboyant flowers in my garden just now. There are big double daffodils which passers by seem to like but I'm not very keen on and drifts of wonderfully varied hellebores under the apple trees which I absolutely love, but it's the small flowers, easy to miss in the exuberance of summer, which at this time of year and given some sun, shine out and are well worth a closer look.
Black flowered willow, Salix gacilis 'Melanostachys' is stunning. Deep reddish black and dangerous looking, especially with the sun behind it and what a contrast to the common pussy willow, all shining silver purity. They say the devil is in the detail, it certainly is with this flower. Hamamelis is really spooky too, like contorted orange or yellow spiders, these two would be brilliant at halloween!
Down on the ground beneath the shrubs the flowers are much more as expected. Anemone blanda, Pulmonaria and Primula are the essence of early spring, all dainty prettiness. Muscari, well know as grape hyacynth, is often a cause for complaint as it spreads through an old garden but close up the tubular flowers can be seen as individuals and are the most striking clear blue.
If the sun shines get out there quick, the closer we look the better we know our gardens and that has to be a good thing.