Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Signs of spring

We have been getting quite matter-of-fact about the carpet of snowdrops and winter aconite covering all the perennial beds. When I look out at the garden from the covered verandah I see a beautiful mosaic of yellow and white and green.

Today I noticed a slightly different shade of yellow - less lemony, more like mango. Sure enough, there was the first patch of crocus. What is it about spring flowers that makes them so good at lifting the heart? Is it just that they come at the time of year we most need a little lift, or is it their pluckiness as they ignore temperatures that still come close to freezing at night and bloom anyway?

The hellebores have been blooming, too, but it's been hard to get a picture since they like to grow in shade and it has been so gloomy and rainy lately. But the sun came out for a while this morning, and so here is one of the flashier Mucky Boots hellebores.

There is so much coming to life in the garden that some days it feels like I'm standing on a subterranean lava flow of spring energy. The honeyberries are leafing out, and there are the prettiest pink buds on the blueberry bushes. The bare branches of the red-twigged dogwoods are almost luminescently red, and the twigs of other shrubs are glowing yellow. And by the pond is a sad, spindly, punky little tree, a volunteer that nobody planted, nobody loves, nobody even notices. But right now it is claiming its own moment of beauty as it leafs out in tender green leaves. It's as if everything living thing, loved or not, feels the promise of spring.

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