No, this isn’t a post about earthquakes, or ducks. It’s about the bits of color and soft petals showing up in the winter debris of our yard. Though it’s the same flowers every year, it is like finding treasure when the Crocuses, Snow bells and Pulmonaria begin to bloom. And tiny Violets, so hidden, peeked out from under their leaves in January, perhaps they’ve been there all winter! Our one and only Hellebore is to me a miracle; I did not think they would grow in our ‘extreme’ shade (yes, I know they like partial shade) and clay soil. I have come to call our yard “Clayville”. A few years ago I planted the hardiest Hellebore I could find, nothing fancy, and though it looks pathetic, with just a few leaves year round, not lush and leafy like I see them in other gardens, it blooms cheerfully about the time winter becomes tiresome.
The strategy of these early bloomers seems to be stay low (duck) and be sure you have lots of leave debris around you (cover). The Snow bells and Pulmonaria poke through moss, leaves or whatever is in their way, Violets hide in their own leaves.
Happy to see them, Mike weeded around the first crocuses to show up, and their almost-ready-to-bloom Daffodil neighbors. They might be feeling a bit chilly at night, and with snow predicted for this weekend, their bright color may soon be gone.
Crocuses are remarkable, they boldly bloom very early, yet even rain will melt their petals, if it snows, they disappear. Not so with the others, Snowbells well deserve their name, Violets just bury their heads again, the Hellebore and Daffodils will survive, albeit maybe not standing straight, if winter challenges their early arrival with a snow dump.
These early bloomers arrive each year in time to tell us, there is hope, the cycles of Nature begin anew, the world is not just a gray-green-brown blob! Color will reign!