Do you share the thrill?

I’ve got to test this out.  How universal is the thrill of bulbs at this phase? This eruption through the earth’s crust is the perfect physical representation of the rumblings of joy that emerging bulbs produce.

Or is it just me?

The morbidly obese buds of Galanthus ‘Lavinia’. It’s so double (ie there’s so many inner petals squeezed in there) that the swollen buds are evident from the moment it emerges from the ground

The really big moment of these snowdrops is weeks away.  This early pleasure is incomplete.  It’s all about what’s being promised.  But if you could assign pleasure points objectively, I reckon you’d find that the thrill is as good right now as it ever gets.  You can’t wait for them to flower, but the current/present pleasure at the ‘can’t wait’ stage is astonishing.

The flower buds on Galanthus elwesii are slender spear-heads in comparison with the above, and remain furled in the emerging foliage for far longer

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17 thoughts on “Do you share the thrill?

  1. Gosh! The poetry of you lot almost makes me wish I lived somewhere winters were frosty and not where in mid-winter you can lunch in a garden still lush (mostly) with summer’s growth in a t-shirt, as I did today.

  2. Hi again, One of the most spell-binding phenomena I have witnessed in the Greek mountains is wave after wave of crocus literally spearing through the edges of melting ice as it retreats under the early spring sun. Such fragile-looking, intensely coloured blooms set against a wasteland of white stirs the heart. They last but a few days and may be crushed in a second but the unbounded power of this display stays with you. M

  3. The snowdrops certainly do it for me. I have one precious potful having lost all those in the garden to competition from garden thugs. Thirty two tiny plump spikes – the tallest barely a centimeter- are my delight today.

  4. Hi Michael,

    I too share that exhilaration of seeing the first spears of hope push through the winter ground. Bulbs are king at this time of the year but I think their cryptic appearance and then rapid disappearance fascinates us. I am sure this is bound up in they way they mark the passing of the seasons, and how they touch us deep inside with their powerful messages of rebirth and renewal, these are all part of the allure. Cheers, M

    • I couldn’t agree more, Marcus. There’s something that deeply resonates for us in that whole rebirth thing. And there’s something so deeply reassuring for us in the turning and returning of the seasons. Puts me in mind of the words of that old hymn ‘He sends the snow in Winter, the warmth to swell the grain. The seed-time and the harvest, and soft, refreshing rain..’

  5. Absolutely true. I am watching hyacinth and little crocus shoots coming through and a tiny white iris. Thinks it speaks for the steely determination of nature to rebirth and rebloom. Gives me the same feeling as looking at a scan of a developing baby. New life, new hope, new dreams.

    • Yep, steely determination. But man has never been more alarmed by his influence over nature – his destructive influence. These seasonal returns provide a poignant reminder of its resilience, its preciousness, its fragility.

  6. I share your thrill. Mine are also coming up and one has already flowered.
    This winter chill has really helped here in the suburbs (S/Hills). Must get me some of the Lavinia – looks gorgeous!!

  7. It’s not just you, Michael. Finding new growth peeping through the soil is such a thrill that I go back day after day, sometimes several times in the one day, in the hope of finding more. Then as the flower heads start to appear from deep within the foliage, the thrill just starts again.

    I’m rethinking much of what I’ve done in my little garden in the three years we’ve been here, but I never, ever, regret planting a bulb. My ornithogalum arabicum are my greatest joy when in flower.

    • Likewise – I’ll return several times a day. By the third and fourth I’m starting to feel a little self-conscious. How ridiculous. My kids would look at their facebook pages ten times more than that every day!

  8. Agreed you’re not alone; with me it’s the journey not the destination with bulbs. From the moment those fresh new leaves thrust themselves through the soil I’m captured.

    • And yet we so often seek the longest flowering, most bullet-proof plants for our gardens, and undersell the poignancy – the moment – provided by these brief, passing, repeating wonders.
      Great to hear from you Michael. Hope all is well in your world

  9. The snowdrops are delightful, but for me nothing quite equals the thrill of those first luscious fat pink tinted peony noses

    • You know what? you may be right. I was reminded of their appeal when I trod heavily, clumsily, thoughtlessly on huge, chubby buds of Peony ‘molly the witch’ the other day. I felt sick

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