The littlest things

Pretty soon only the biggest bonanzas of blooms and armfuls of harvests will knock our socks off but right now, on the first official day of spring, it doesn’t take much to get us excited. Any evidence of the growing season, no matter how small, is huge. Especially considering there’s snow in our forecast today (ugh-gain), piles of old stuff jammed in the shadiest places, and a sheet of ice on the pond still. But we’re all ears and eyes right now because if we listen and look really closely, we can hear spring in the foghorns and the trilling call of red-wing blackbirds, and see it coming up and out all over the place. Now is the time to watch the first wildflowers work their way out of the earth — skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) generate their own heat to bust through snow and ice and offer a warm(ish) shelter to the earliest pollinators. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), tommies (Crocus tommasinianus), and winter aconite (Eranthus hyemalis) were just waiting for the snow to melt to open up. (For all we know those tough nuts were already open under the snow.) Witch hazel flowers are open (and then furled again on cold days) and the hellebores will open buds any day now. Daffodil foliage has poked up too and is ready at the first sign of warmth, to grow legs and bud up. It’s so thrilling!


In the greenhouse, we are over the moon about seedlings. (The photo at the top of this post is of a grapeleaf begonia seedling I found when repotting its mother.) The new planthouse is filling right up and making us wonder, what did we do with all of these spring babies before it was built? Every day more seedlings emerge while others grow true leaves and big enough to be transplanted. We’re thrilled to harvest fistfuls of microgreens, and are watching new growth on our stock plants become ripe for pinching and propagating.

Are you jumping for joy over the smallest signs of spring too? What’s up in your garden?