Occasionally, only occasionally, sloth pays off. Usually, by this time in April, I have the leaves all or mostly raked off the various garden beds. This year, however, in spite of the warm days we've been having, I have hardly begun to rake. I've cleared the worst of the leaves (and the gravel thrown up by the snowblower doing the driveway) off the Rockery, but everywhere else they still lie thick and heavy. And tonight and tomorrow night, we are supposed to be getting several degrees of frost, with the possible added excitement of snow flurries. So for once my laziness is paying off!
Not that I'm really being lazy. A gardener cannot afford to be lazy. It just seems that Spring, real Spring, is so slow this year that we might as well still be in March, and one doesn't rake leaves in March.
I would be worried, but if there is one thing I've learned while gardening here it is that the White Trilliums will bloom on May 10th. In an early Spring, they may be three feet tall, but they'll bloom on May 10. In a slow Spring, they may be under six inches of snow... but they'll bloom on May 10. No doubt, this year they will bloom on May 10. They might be only three inches high, but they'll bloom! On May 10th.
Meanwhile, I took a wander around and found a few quite nice things in bloom in spite of the weather.
Beside the Crocus are a few of the flower clusters of Cornus mas. This, with me, is a rangy shrub, about 8' high so far, which blooms heavily and for a longish period, usually over a week. The rest of the season I don't even see it, it disappears into the general tree and shrub background.
Snowdrops you know. They haven't been that good this year, perhaps I need to divide them. Or perhaps the deep snow pack discouraged them.
The Muscari is the variety called Valerie Finnis. I love it's soft blue with the darker blue tips. Its flowering stalks are shorter than the other Muscari, but it is seeding itself into a big patch so you don't really notice that. It can seed itself all it likes for me.
The Daff is Tete-a-tete. The name is probably because most, if not all, stems carry two of the small but perfect Daffodil flowers. It too seeds itself around.
That weird red thing, which is really very tiny, only about half an inch across, is the female flower of Beaked Hazelnut. Tiny red stars... sprinkled all over a loose shrub about 6' high, which lead to pairs of hazelnuts encased in bright green 'sleeves' which lead to squirrel joy because they eat every one. The male flowers are tiny braided catkins. The stems of the Hazelnut seem to only live for one or two years, then new stems take over. You have to rake the dead ones out every year, not hard to do, but odd for a shrub.
The last Crocus is Crocus seiberi, the Three-colour Crocus. The squirrels left me a few this year. These flower very early while everything around them is still grey and winter-dreary, but so brightly! A rock garden Crocus, it does need good drainage.
So if it really does snow tonight, I'm going to be smug about not having the leaves raked off my garden, and I'm going to look at the picture of the spring bulbs and not the snow!