In the mountains, Springs begins a few weeks before the Equinox and extends for weeks beyond that with ever-expanding waves of color from the forest floor to the fullness of the oak canopy. As one becomes weary of the dried leaves which rise up from each melting layer of snow, a few spears of green begin to break through the remnants of last year’s forest.
We almost miss the snow drops each year, mistaking them for some other spring bulb with frost clinging to the leaves. But, every year we are surprised by the clumps which form around dormant bushes. A few days later, usually when a warm breeze flows up from the south, the purples and yellows of the crocuses, dwarf irises and daffodils interrupts the carpet of brown across the garden.
We have to thank Sue, Charlie, Murial and Staff who helped us plant the first rows of bulbs, at least 15 years ago. These still arise each year, along with subsequent plantings and divisions of clumps of bulbs. While each year the vegetable gardens become easier to turn with enhancement from the compost pile, the bulbs are on their own to break up the clay and rock. Again, thanks to the initiate bulb diggers who worked with pick axes and shoves to create trenches for the bulbs.
Each variety of spring bulb lasts a few days to a week. We have selected early to late varieties, so that while the warm fronts from the Gulf and the cold fronts from Canada vie for seasonal dominance, we have some color to awake the garden. Soon, the April days will stay warmer, and the fruit trees with scream for attention with the dazzling bouffants. But, for now, we will watch the bulbs push up as the snow continues to fall a few more days.