Yellow Signals Spring

It’s only the first of March, but spring has arrived on Walnut Hill. After 70-plus degree temperatures in February and a fast sequence of opening Galanthus and Helleborus, more blooms opened this week. We now have color front to back.

The Edgworthia chrysantha by the kitchen window dangles satiny, white lanterns with blue Vinca minor below and a few Leucojum aestivum nodding by the brick wall. Chains of lily-of-the-valley-like buds, some pink and some white, fill the Pieris japonica by the garden gates. Thanks to a warm winter, they’re the most prodigious in years.

Mixed white and pink Helleborus blankets the woodland garden. Some has jumped the path, but we won’t remove this early harbinger of spring. With winter cleanup almost finished, a layer of compost will soon surround them. We use compost as mulch. Might as well add some nutrients while blocking the weeds.

Yellow blossoms throughout the garden signal that spring is really here. Buttery crocuses brighten a stone wall. Citron beads on a Mahonia aquifolium shine under the Blue Atlas cedar. Eranthis beacons by the stairs to the pool, this single plant standing out amid a sea of winter brown. Jasminum nudiflorum cascades downhill by Roger’s path. We named this path in honor of Roger Foley, the photographer whose artistry fills our book. He loved that intimate corner of the garden. Hamamelis lights a path up to the house, offering the bonus of a spicy scent. And right outside the family room window, daffodils are opening.

Every day, more spring bubbles up. Thankfully, no hard frost is in the forecast.