Hello, spring! Yes, it’s hard to believe, but it is spring at last. Never mind the snows. Never mind the cool temps. The blooms that opened the first week of spring are all the proof I need that spring is here.
Forget mounds of snow at the edge of parking lots, salt encrusted patches of streets, frost and snow-bitten brown leaves on evergreens: ivy, sweet box, holly, boxwood and Nandina. Plants are blooming. Repeat: plants ARE blooming.
They started in the form of tiny white snowdrops pushing up from the snow then bloomed after the melt, small ones by our front steps and giant ones up the street.
Day by day the color increases. Naturalized crocuses across the lawn of an open lot seem magical, like a spring version of the poppy fields in Oz.
Cool temperatures hold most of the flowers closed, so they stand like battalions of miniature soldiers beating back winter.
Down the street a neighbor planted a witch hazel when she moved in 20 years ago.
Now the size of an ornamental tree, its neon yellow blooms pulsate “Spring!”
Deep purple and yellow crocuses at other neighbors’ remind us that Easter is just weeks away.
Their small witch hazel bush is a focal point of the early back garden. Maroon hellebores buds under woody branches of hydrangeas promise the mop heads too will eventually appear.
Likewise, daffodil foliage and buds pushing through brown leaves show that yellow trumpets will soon follow.
Most surprising to me, in this winter-scorched landscape, is deep blue. It jumped out first on vinca vines down a bank.
The next day royal blue chionodoxa blooms appeared nearby.
Equally amazing was an impression of a deer hoof in the surrounding earth, only a block from Cold Spring Lane.
As exciting as every spring is, spring 2014 already feels like a daily miracle.