february’s spring

It’s taken two years for the snow-drops to come up and bloom. I say that, because in the old, side-yard flower-bed, these early bulbs never missed a season. But that’s really not accurate, because I have no idea how long it took them to take root, because I have no idea when I first planted them. Back then, I didn’t know one bulb from another. (In an area with limited sun, I planted tulips, and other long-stem flowering bulbs.) It took me a while to understand that I have limited sun in my urban back-yard and that tall plants, because they follow the sun, tend to fall over when reaching excessively for the afternoon light that just touches the fenced in back-yard.

I didn’t missed the snow-drops, in the side-yard, until I was in Cambridge in March of 2013 and they were all through the monastery courtyard. (I had removed the side flower-bed the previous summer and had totally forgotten about my harbingers of spring.)

The ones in the above image are not from my back-yard; mine are just coming up and when they first bloom, they’re singles – one plant per bulb; it takes a few years for the bulbs to multiply and clusters. Also, the above flowers are a giant version – genetically modified for sure – of the original plant. (The modified bulbs produce large white flowers the first couple of years, but then the modification appears only in the leaves; the flowers revert to a more standard size.)

What is most strange about spring 2017, is that on February 23, the temperature reached 76o. (The last time there were temperatures this warm was 1906.) There is no snow and the galanthus are one of many early flowering bulbs. For this year, they have lost their uniqueness as the first flowers of spring and instead are competing with lush crocus, iris retuculata, dwarf daffodils, bushy forsythia and fragile magnolia.