It’s Spring – Finally!

It’s spring – finally! The most visible harbinger of the new season is all the little bulbs popping up in the gardens. Why should we plant early spring bulbs and what are they? In my view there are tons of reasons to plant spring bulbs even though we have to do so in late fall when many of us are getting a little weary. (Frankly, I don’t know how I did it in southern California with a 12 month season, but I was 26 years younger then! I suspect that makes a difference.) But back to the point. For me, waking up one morning as the snow recedes and seeing COLOR in the garden is an incredible high. Then, as if I really needed a shove, seeing all those lovely flowers poking through last year’s spent foliage is a huge incentive to get out there and clean up the gardens for the season. But today, I was reminded of perhaps the most important reason of all – our pollinators. At this time of year, after a long flight from somewhere south of here or an even longer hibernation, they need sustenance. The native plants have not greened up yet, nor have any of the earliest perennials put out bloom one. It’s only the bulbs – crocus, chionadoxa (glory of the snow) and muscari (squill) that put forth nectar- and pollen-filled flowers this early. Today I saw my first bumble bee. It was enormous and had the most brilliant splash of orange on its body that perfectly echoed the orange stamens of some of my crocus. What a joy to behold!