Colours of Spring in Abruzzo

We are into summer now in Italy, however I was reflecting on how beautiful and alive springtime is in Abruzzo.
Here are a few of my favourite things:
1) PICKING & FORAGING for WILD ASPARAGUS:
I look forward to this as my cousin and I set off and walk the little country lanes and she is so good at spotting the dark purple and green stalks. Her trained eye goes straight to the bases of oak trees and shrubs in the undergrowth that are thick and dense. It often means going down some steep slopes to find those extra elusive asparagus!
2) PICKING & FORAGING for ACACIA flowers: 
Technically the plant is Robinia pseudoacacia but my family and friends here in Abruzzo call it Acacia. The flowers in spring are great for the honey bees and the honey is a glorious liquid amber. I like to pick these flowers and make them into fritters. Make a batter with sparkling water, flour, salt then dip them the flowers into the batter and fry. They are crisp and if you serve them with some of the acacia honey..3) .then it is bliss!
3) EATING ARTICHOKES:
I would say artichokes and asparagus have to be my 2 favourite vegetables of all time…and they are so abundant in Abruzzo! I love them stuffed with our traditional filling of parmesan or pecorino cheese, eggs, parsley, breadcrumbs. Then  they are sautéed , then slow cooked.
4) WILD HAWTHORNE BUSHES:
When I go for my walks in spring, there are so many hawthorne bushes or biancospino. Flowering in May and June when at its peak, it is a glorious site. This one is literally near my house and especially beautiful when there is still some snow on the Maiella mountains behind! This bush has particular therapeutic qualities – for heart/hypertension, diuretic, relaxant….
5) FLOWERING of the OLIVE TREE:
This is something special to see and experience as it only happens for a few weeks in May. I had not seen the olive tree in flower until I came back to Abruzzo. The small creamy flowers are the precursors of the olives and fingers are always crossed that no hail or severe storms hit the olive trees in this time.