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Articles - Issues Of Home Economics:

In April, the Judas tree is a cloud of pink blossom. You can't help noticing it, because the
Young pulmonaria flowers are bright pink. After a few days they turn violet and then vivid blue.
Hamamelis blossom appears in winter, the flowers are delicate bunches of gold or red strands. They
Winter jasmine, as its name implies, flowers in mid-winter – not because of climate change or
Many members of the Cucurbitaceae family – which includes courgette, pumpkin and cucumber –

Luminous hazel catkins are a first hint of spring

Hazel catkins are worth close inspection, although, if you suffer from pollen allergies, you might not be so enthusiastic. If allergies aren't a problem, then take a closer look at a hazel bush – with a magnifying glass if you have one handy. What you'll see are not only the catkins themselves, the male flower, but also the tiny female flowers which are a vivid dark red. Hazels carry male and female flowers on the same bush and are mainly wind-pollinated.

Actually what you see here are the pistils of the hazel flowers protruding from the scaly buds. The rest of the flower stays tucked away as a protection against the often chilly temperatures and harsh conditions still prevalent when the hazel flowers. In mild winters the flowers open as early as January, but more usual is February or March. Especially for children, but also for many adults, these tiny purple-red flowers are a fascinating discovery.

Hazel braches and twigs have many uses

Children will find hazel wood ideal for making bows and arrows. The branches grow very straight, virtually without forks, and they're flexible enough to bend into a very satisfactory bow. And there will be enough small, straight branches to make good arrows. You can decorate your bow and arrows, or make something less bellicose, by carving designs through the darker bark to show the pale wood. Adults value the straight branches as beanpoles or use their flexibility to weave them into hurdles and fences.

The fact that these bushes also produce tasty and nutritious hazel nuts comes almost as an afterthought.

Source: Anne Staeves, www.aid.de