That’s at least what they look like when first showing bloom above ground! I’m sorry that I missed the first day of this – they now look like three or four days’ worth. The old foliage hasn’t even been cleared away yet, but in a cooperative mien spread itself outwards in a sprawl so that the new buds would be obviously visible. How thoughtful! 

It would be nice to think that this portends for a wonderful spring season, but we know better, don’t we? There are no guarantees in a garden nor with the weather, but I admit it is much easier to think ‘one day at a time’ when the short-term forecast is for sunny and warmer than usual. I am reminded that 21 years ago, almost to the day, I was just beginning my recovery of having cancer removed from my throat. I was on the eighth floor of the ‘old’ James Cancer Center at Ohio State (which I watched being built, so how old could it be – really?). We were in the midst of a blizzard and 24″ of snow – a stunning sight from the comfortable vantage point of a warm building. Here at the farm, the drive was completely snowed in and the help of a kind and Bobcat-owning neighbor was required to scoop out a path in the drive for my return home, 11 days after surgery. An experience like that provides a depth of meaning to a phrase like ‘one day at a time’ that you don’t get any other way. If the emerging blooms of a hellebore (and the ones blooming right now are refugees from someone else’s compost heap – enthusiastically grateful perhaps) are what you see today – enjoy them and rejoice in the fact. 

So I guess it’s reasonable to say that the gardening season has begun. Our English friends have been reveling in the snowdrop bloom for weeks and months even. When they refer to ‘winter’ gardening, they aren’t kidding. My genetic tendency to endless nasal drips if temps are below 60 will keep a damper on my ‘in the garden’ enthusiasms for the next couple of months, but not my ability to see and rejoice. I hope the same for you. (The seeing and rejoicing part, not the nasal part.)