Monday, March 16, 2009

Hope Confirmed

Snow drops (Galanthus) pictured on top, are rather common bulbs, but for the lifestyle garden they play an important role. Every year for as long as I have been an adult I have eagerly looked for the first signs of spring by seeking out the first blooming plant. More often than not they have been snow drops. We may take it for granted, but I think it is an important emotional lift to see those first spring flowers. I know at Kingwood Center on the first warm day of March we get a sudden little surge of visitors, and I suspect most have their heads down looking for some sort of floral assurance that spring is on the way. It is a rare spring indeed that I don't hear someone almost breathlessly announce the first snowdrops, hearing the first spring peepers, hearing the first red-wing blackbirds or some other sign of spring. These things are important to us, and having one of those gratifying signs of spring right outside your back door, like I have my snow drops, is very satisfying.
I included a second picture of Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), because it blooms as early as snow drops but more spectacularly for even more end of winter gratification. I grow this clump outside my back door as well.