Saturday, 24 January 2009

Sorry, Canadians . . . but we've got green shoots here

They are green, and they are in my garden!

It has been a gloriously sunny day – “false” spring only, perhaps – but I will take it. I meant to take a short walk to the corner store, but I got waylaid by the beauty of the day and wandered into the forest to look for snowdrops. Everywhere I looked there were people doing the same . . . I even saw two men, shirtless, out jogging! (It wasn’t really that warm, but the urge to bare one’s skin to the sun can be strong.)

One of the things that I love about Texas winter is that you only have to endure cold weather for short periods of time. That is best, I think; otherwise, winter’s harsh and antisocial qualities start to grind a person down.

I would agree that every season has its beauties, but for me, spring is incomparable. One of the things that I like best about England is that the signs of spring appear so early. Snowdrops are first, but the daffodils and narcissus will appear soon after. Then, the other bulbs: tulips and iris and fritillary. We’ve planted hundreds of bulbs this year . . . and I can’t even remember what or where now that the garden is all bare branched and knobby.

When I look out my bathroom window, I can see these green shoots. I will be plotting their progress . . .


34 comments:

Beth said...

Apology accepted.
I'm happy for you - truly!

Travis Erwin said...

Here in the Texas Panhandle it was 78 the other day and yet this morn it was 14 when I left for work.

JaneyV said...

I just noticed the green shoots of my daffs coming through this week. Nature never takes without giving back. January is such a cold, hopeless sort of month and just when you feel yourself succumbing to the malaise she sends up the little green shoots, the harbinger of spring.

Now if only all this horrid mud would dry up!

marja-leena said...

How wonderful! We're late this year, usually the snowdrops would be in bloom now, but I do see the green tips of daffs peeping up here and there, not as high as your though.

CashmereLibrarian said...

Wah?! I don't think we'll see snowdrops here for at least another month. It's a long, cold winter here on the prairie...

Sarah Laurence said...

I skied today under blue skies and almost got frostbite snapping a few sunset photos. There is a foot of snow on the ground. Do we live on the same planet? Thanks for sharing your spring.

Ann D. Travers said...

How lucky you are. I have snowdrops that are iced and snowed in now. I photographed their little shoots just 3 weeks ago and noted their progress (posting on Dec 30th). There's something about tracking the progress of snowdrops. A promise of warmth and sunshine. I can see why you had difficulty getting to the store. Snowdrops were calling you.

larkspur said...

I am green (like your fresh shoots!) with envy...

Braja said...

Green shoots are so promising aren't they? I loved this post, I felt it. I was also reminded of how in London they'll whip their shirts off at the drop of a hat when the sun pokes it's head out...yuch :)))

dianeinjapan said...

Our shoots are popping up, too--yay! Of course, it snowed yesterday...but that's pretty exciting around here.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

My gosh! I am glad to see those. We went to a nearby garden for tea yesterday. The sun was out but it was cold. It didn't stop the locals from enjoying their afternoon tea OUTSIDE. In their parkas. We were sitting inside by the windows, nice and warm.

Lucy said...

Lovely. I miss snowdrops, they don't flourish here.

Brave Sir Robin said...

How exciting!!

I never really understood the excitement of spring until I experienced my first New England spring.

After months of frozen ground and ice, it really seems like a rebirth.

Living in Texas, Spring's arrival is subtle and gradual. Sometimes the harbingers of its arrival go unnoticed.

I've always wanted to live in a place with clearly defined seasons.

I'll look forward to the pictures of Spring's advance in your garden.

I love bulbs.

Bee said...

Thanks, Beth. You are a generous soul.

Travis - My mom always says, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a few hours." I miss that crazy volatility sometimes.

JaneyV - Isn't it cool how the green shoots seem to spring up almost without a person noticing? As for the mud . . .

Marja-leena - These daffs do seem early, but every year I'm surprised. (I never know quite WHAT is going to come up in my garden.)

Cashmere Librarian - Yes, I would find the long prairie winter trying! I'm STILL in awe at the fact that you run so early in the mornings . . .

Sarah - Having only seen Maine in summer, it does make a person wonder. English weather can be so samey . . . yesterday was actually nicer than most of last summer!

Ann - Do they really come out so soon? I am not very observant, and tend not to notice until they suddenly "appear" in full bloom! Thanks for visiting . . .

Larkspur - Winter flowers are a pretty big compensation for, well, all sorts of things.

Braja - People who don't get a lot of sun tend to go a little bit crazy . . . My mom has a funny story about being in Ireland during a "heat wave." White Irish flesh everywhere; and all of it burned red the next day!

Diane in Japan - I'd love to hear more about the weather/growing season in Japan.

JAPRA - We have English friends who use their outside swimming pool in April. I will usually have my bum parked on the AGA while everyone else is turning blue outside. (Of course, we couldn't even have a July 4th picnic outside! Ha Ha!)

Lucy - No snowdrops? That is sad.

BSR - I love a spring-like winter's day in Texas, but it is true that the clearly delineated seasons have more special treats to offer. I'm sure that there will be lots of flower pictures this year!

Anne said...

Exciting! I remember the thrill of spotting the first crocus and daffodil shoots when I lived in Chicago (in March, not January).

It's still fun to see them around here (I do love spring flowers), but more thrilling to me are the shoots of green grass that follow the first substantial rains in the fall. The freshness and renewal of green carpeting the hills is such a relief after months and months of brown that, far from longing for winter to end, I look forward to its beginning.

Shauna said...

We had an odd 70 degree day here in CA last week. Not normally one to look a 'gift horse' in the mouth, butit's such a tease.

Daffodils are one of my absolute favorite flowers. Especially when Utah winters are so long, seeing daffodils always spoke of the promise of sunshine to come.

Elizabeth said...

Naked! jogging?
It makes one weep to go out here in NY.
Cannot even think of spring. (More weeping).
Lucky you!

chris said...

How is this possible? We had snow in NC. Snow that lasted two days!

Bee said...

I didn't realize that California had upside down seasons in that way! I, on the other hand, am looking forward to a good grass greening.

Shauna - I so agree! Daffodils are one of the cheeriest flowers. Perfect antidote to gray/grey/greige.

Elizabeth - Well, if it makes you feel any better, we are back to the gray stuff today. (But life is definitely stirring, above and below ground!)

Chris - Global warming?

herhimnbryn said...

Please send green shoots here....I crave greenery! Everything ere is brown, brown, brown.

Lisa said...

What a lovely photo of the snowdrops on your sidebar!

I think maybe England's weather is quite similar to that we have here in Georgia. As much as I hate January (I was thinking of you this morning when I contemplated a post about January), I must admit that it's not nearly the dreaded string of days on the calendar that it was when we lived in Chicago.

I'm glad for the early signs of spring, too.

Peggy said...

Keep us posted, Bee! Here in West Michigan, we have another three months of winter left. Good thing I'm a snow-junkie! :-)

Gifted Typist said...

Canadian love telling people that winter's lovely. They're lying.

Canadian winters are dark, cold colourless (except for white when the snow happens to be white) six-month long misery-fests.

I spent last Xmas in Somerset and the Cotwolds. They had daffodils sprouting up roadside at the end of December.

Julz said...

Wow! Real green life coming from the ground! Amazing. I am in the midst of snow. Please chart the progress as I anxiously await spring in the midwest!

Bee said...

herhimnbryn - You've got brown; we've got gray. At least your sky is blue, though.

Lisa - I know you are right about January, as much as I have been known to complain about it. At least there is some variety in the cold and wet, although Saturday's sunshine was a rare gift.

Peggy - I'm glad that you appreciate snow's finer points. :)

Gifted Typist - The last two winters in England were unseasonably warm and the flowers didn't know what to do. This year has been a little truer to wintry form, but the green shoots are starting to appear everywhere!

Julz - I will try to do my bit to usher in spring . . . I promise!

Barrie said...

Our seasons aren't very pronounced here. But I do watch for daffodil shoots!

Dick said...

And buds clearly discernible on the trees. Sod the recession - spring is creeping closer!

Bee said...

Barrie - You get daffodils in San Diego? Really!!

Dick - Nice usage of "sod."

Anna said...

Oh don't be sorry, lol, but on the other hand, it would be nice to have some green soon! Anna :)

Heinous said...

We won't be seeing those here for another two months. Lucky.

Bee said...

Anna - Maybe you should buy a bunch of narcissus for yourself!

Heinous - (simpering) I know; I'm so LUCKY!

P said...

How delightful. It's still very gray and cold here in New York - I'm longing for green. I forced dozens of narcissus bulbs and stash them in dark corners hoping they'll chase away the shadows. They do lift the spirits.

It was lovely of you to comment on my blog. Thank you for coming - I am enjoying yours immensely.

Jocelyn said...

Bee - thanks for the photograph. I spent last week at a conference in the Hague and was delighted to be able to see bulbs and spring flowers in the florists. I love living in exotic places but every spring I miss the flowers. Keep me posted!
Jocelyn

Bee said...

P - I LOVE bulbs; they are my favorites. A friend brought me a lovely terracotta pot with three hyacinths in it last week. She couldn't remember what color they will be . . . can't wait to find out.

Jocelyn - I always think that the damp, cold earth and spring bulbs are one of THE defining characteristics of Englishness. (But Holland is nice for that sort of thing as well - of course!) I will definitely be documenting the garden this spring . . .