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Brave Early Bloomers

In late February in my Midwestern garden, I delight in the green, sprouting foliage of little bulbs. It is evidence that the tiniest flowers are the bravest.

Joseph Krutch described February as a month “we could do without.  Spring is too far away to be a comfort by anticipation, and winter has long ago lost the charm of novelty.”  Yet February can also be described as the month when we really start to believe that Spring is coming.  After all, the miniature iris and daffodil foliage starts pushing up through the earth–a sure sign that all that digging and planting of bulbs last fall will soon be rewarded.  It is always surprising to me that the small flowers are the bravest and the first to brace the elements.

George Meredith wrote about early signs of spring in England:

“Now the north wind ceases

The warm south-west awakes

The heavens are out in fleeces

And earth’s green banner shakes”

The Tête-a-Tête Daffodil: Going Head to Head With Winter

The courageous daffodil “Tête-a-Tête” is a very early bloomer. In late winter when I see pots of it in the stores, I always buy one.  Whether in a pot or later in the garden, they are irresistible with their sweet nodding flowers.  And when the blooms in a pot have faded and I plant it in my garden, I know it will return and increase year after year.  It is so reliable the way it perseveres – unlike so many other potted plants from bulbs.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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