The first of the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are blooming! This is a heartening development, as they are the first flowers of the season in our garden. They mark not so much the beginning of spring as the end of winter.
It interests me that the Snowdrops do not come all at once. Rather, small clumps emerge and bloom here and there. Gradually they combine and spread and reach critical mass. The variation in bloom time, I know, is caused by a mix of factors: the sun and soil of each patch of garden, genetic variation among the Snowdrops themselves, and who knows what else.
But I like to imagine the Snowdrops discussing among themselves who should emerge first. Perhaps the senior Snowdrop ask for volunteers, and only the bravest Snowdrops step forward. Or maybe they draw straws?
Snowdrops are not the only signs of a new season. Here and there the Daffodils are poking up out of the earth with the tips of their leaves, like people testing the wind with their fingers.
And I believe this is one of my new Martagon Lilies (Lilium martagon). Last year all the Martagon Lilies were eaten by rabbits after they got only a few inches high. After taking this picture, I barricaded the tiny stems with bricks. Next week the soil will be thawed and I’ll be able to put in a proper barrier.
The Forsythia buds are swelling.
As are these buds on Clematis ‘Multi Blue’, which I pruned back today.
I am eager for spring, but I’m OK with spring moving forward at a measured pace – that way we have a chance to keep up with it. But either way, I salute the very first Snowdrops and the glad tidings they bring.