I had quite a surprise a few days ago when I found these wonderful snowdrops in my front garden. They're much earlier this year - by a good two weeks - which I'm amazed at seeing December 2010 is officially the coldest since 1890 in this area. I know many of our spring bulbs need a period of cold to perform at their best, but didn't think that extended to early flowering.
Going out to photograph them for Blooms Day made me realise I have a little job to do today - if I can dodge the rain - to keep their hundreds of cousins happy in the front side garden. This area partly belongs to us and merges seamlessly into an area owned by the local council. Needless to say this was the scene of my first spot of guerrilla gardening (though I wasn't aware of the phrase then) as I quickly realised it wouldn't be looked after.
This is very much a shade garden owing to the many trees at the side of the house and it narrows to a tiny strip of just a few inches wide at its furthest extent. It's the perfect place for small spring bulbs such as snowdrops and crocus and also the perfect place for my neighbour to hang some bird feeders so her young daughter can watch the antics of the many birds (hurray!) and squirrels (boo!) who visit.
Whilst this is a good thing to do, I spotted the ground feeders such as the fat pigeons and the more nimble chaffinches have pecked and worn away much of the soil surrounding my bulbs. Luckily most of them still have their roots in the soil, but look like they need a nice blanket of compost to tuck them up and keep warm. They're showing plenty of green shoots, but unlike their neighbours no flower stems topped with a tiny glimpse of white can be seen yet.
It'll be a pleasant task, and as Lucy said in response to yesterday's post, to be amongst the snowdrops will make my heart sing. It appears many of us need sights such as these (and the year's first vase of Cornish daffodils on my table*) to help us get through the winter. It also means my annual weekly snowdrop count has started**. As Lazy Trollop's been saying, there's quite a number of #reasonstobecheerful at the moment :)
* = so yes Carrie, do treat yourself and put a vase of instant sunshine on your table immediately :)
** = you can join me if you like, they're all there in the above photo. Future virtual counts will be a tad more tricky ;)
Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.