Perhaps the most surprising thing about spring is that it always feels like a surprise, even if we know it's coming. Gardeners eagerly anticipate the event and make preparations to herald its arrival. Weather forecasters and news anchors remind us that it's coming. Birds act as envoys, building nests and visiting feeders in ever increasing numbers. Despite all the advance notice, there's generally one point, usually when I'm at work in the garden, when I realize - on a visceral level having no relationship to the calendar or new reports - that spring is indeed here. For me, that day was yesterday, when I looked over and realized that my columbine was blooming. From that point, everywhere I looked, spring was staring me right in the face.
I spent some time on Easter morning recording its presence. The columbine was aptly named.
|Aquilegia hybrid 'Spring Magic'
|Narcissus 'White Lion
|Another Iceland poppy
|Phlomis fruticosa (aka Jerusalem Sage) now reaching full bloom
When I noticed this bearded Iris, I thought it was going to be the first in my garden to bloom.
|Bearded Iris (No ID)
|Bearded Iris (No ID)
I shouldn't have been surprised that the California poppies I planted from seed last year returned with vigor. They're intertwined with a Pelargonium here.
|Eschscholzia and Pelargonium peltatum
|Pelargonium peltatum in bloom
My pink Cistus, which grew rapidly to a height of about 4 feet from a plant in a 4-inch pot, is producing its first blooms this season.
|Thymus praecox 'Pink Chintz'
My new rose is about to bloom for the first time.
|Rosa 'Ebb Tide'
|Rosa 'Pink Meidiland'
Even the Pittosporum tobira I thoroughly thinned last year is blooming.
New foliage is showing up everywhere, from shrubs to trees.
|Fig 'Black Mission'
Two plants appear to be back from the dead. The Michauxia campanuloides, which I planted last June and which appeared to have died by August, has unexpectedly reappeared.
The tree peony I planted in March 2011, which I mistakenly stepped on just as was emerging from dormancy, has forgiven me and produced foliage, renewing hope that, maybe this year, it'll bloom.
I hope your spring also brings pleasant surprises.