I don’t know about you, but I’m having a particularly hard time with winter this week. I go into winter kicking and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum, but its actually the last few weeks before spring that really get to me. With seed starting and other preparations underway, its springtime in my head and winter outside my window. It is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile the two.
I thought I would post some early spring photos that I took in my friend Barry’s garden as a reminder that winter does end.
They arrive early in the spring along with the hellebore, and the crocus, and the few other earliest of the early flowers. They are a gift. They greet us silently and yet there is an audible gasp when their bobbing heads are spotted above the debris.
Oh thank god we’re gonna make it after all saint Mary Tyler Moore the worst is over.
The world is coming alive again. You can stop holding your breath now.
I have to say that while I had been feeling a bit extravagant in my fall bulb purchases, I don’t have an ounce of regret now that spring has come and I am able to enjoy them in bloom. It’s been a joyful surprise watching each bud emerge from the soil and open. In many cases I had forgotten what was planted and it’s been like an adult version of a surprise inside bag. What will bloom next?
They are out early this year, especially this plant, a variety named ‘Red Bells’ that I planted last spring in my own garden — it is already on its third bloom!
Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of my favourite spring ephemerals and a wonderful perennial plant that thrives in full sun or part shade rock gardens. I have mine planted just at the edge of my dry bed/rock garden where dry pea gravel meets a slightly moister wood chip pathway and early morning shade is cast by the house. Pulsatilla is a good choice for dry spots underneath slightly shady trees as it seems to grow tolerant to drought once established.
I find the soft and delicate hairiness of this plant irresistible and after flowering the silky seed pods leave behind something to look as well as some seeds to help it spread.
‘Yalta’ is another of the crocus varieties that I planted last fall. It has alternating purple and soft, silvery lavender petals with a delicate and long throat. Apparently it is a C. tommasinianus hybrid, which is another species that I prefer, particularly ‘Ruby Giant’.