Now Spring has officially dawned in the UK (If you go by the meteorological calendar!), our gardens, allotments and roadsides are now a riot of colour, with Narcissi, Hyacinths and Crocuses beginning to peep up through the earth from their winter slumbers. These classic spring flowers are always a welcome sight, and with the uncharacteristically warm weather we've had recently, they are already popping up in abundance. However, today's focus is on a spring flower maybe not so common on these fair shores; Acacia dealbata, otherwise known as Mimosa or Silver Wattle.
A unique looking plant, Mimosa has its roots in Australasia, so prefers a warm and sheltered spot, preferably in full sun ,in order to mimic its native environment as closely as possible. Think about how you might care for your Eucalyptus or Callistemon, and you'll have a fairly good idea of the setting that your Mimosa will enjoy. Being a lover of warmth and sunshine, Mimosa trees definitely fare better in the South and in coastal areas that may have a milder climate. Protect them from frost and cold winds as much as you can, as their delicate little leaves will burn and turn brown! Though if that happens, please don't despair, as in my experience, they've always managed to recover, and send out masses of fresh, new, bushy growth the following spring.
I write this on the eve of International Women's Day, for which Mimosa has been the symbolic flower for over 50 years. The tradition of men giving the women a branch of Mimosa originated in Italy in 1946 where it was considered a sign of honour and respect, rivalling the classic red rose of St Valentines day in February. As IWD has become more widely celebratesd across the world, Mimosa is increasingly being used as a cut flower at this time of year, looking exquisite in floral arrangements and adorning florist's Instagram pages in the run up to 8th March.
I, for one, cannot wait to one day have a garden big enough to be able to plant my own Mimosa tree, admiring it's evergreen beauty through all the seasons, and stuffing jars full of those sweet yellow pompoms come Spring. Happy International Women's Day everyone, but don't forget to celebrate your faves all year round!