It snowed again in southern New Hampshire over the weekend – about five inches of slushy, heavy snow. The wintry early April day brought a flock of seven Cedar Waxwings to the garden. When they weren’t stripping the few remaining red berries from the holly shrubs, they were huddled in the Weeping Cherry tree.
Today, it’s sunny and 60 degrees (F) at 4pm. The longer days of sunshine are quickly melting the latest – and hopefully last – blanket of snow.
While most of the paths in the garden are still white and slippery, a swath of purple blooms caught my eye when I stepped onto my my front porch to get the mail.
Spring has arrived! The crocus are blooming — just as expected in early April.
I grabbed my camera and walked through the areas of the garden where sun melted the snow from the stone paths. (The ground in these few areas is very soft, almost muddy, so I didn’t venture far.)
It’s always a thrill to find the crocus in bloom. While expected, it always feels like the first flowers are a miracle.
The garden still has a brown dormant winter appearance – from the decaying leaves, pine needles, and sticks that will eventually be picked up either by the birds building their spring nests or during the initial hours of our annual spring cleanup gardening day.
No matter how sleepy the garden appears under the latest blanket of snow, Mother Nature does a spectacular job of waking the flowers that typically appear in late March thru early April. This includes the crocus and scilla. As soon as the purple crocus start to wind down, the bright scilla open to full bloom to bring new life and spectacular streaks of blue to line the garden paths. I don’t even need a calendar to know when Easter is just two weeks away. Seeing these two spring flowers in bloom is always the first indication that the Easter Bunny is expected very soon. (And that it’s time to pick up the ingredients to make the traditional Pickled Beet Eggs for the pending holiday.)
While walking through the garden this afternoon, my soul filled with gratitude. Not just the sights of pops of bright color hear and there, but with the sounds of the songbirds who are out, searching for their spring mates.
I felt caught between two seasons – winter because of the snow cover. And, spring with with the early blooming bulbs. I’d once read a quote about crocus that included the word Grace. That seems like the perfect way to end today’s story.