Finally, finally enough snow melted today that I saw my first blooms, well buds actually, but it’s the same thrill! Some of the south facing garden beds had at least partial snow coverage disappear today. As soon as muddy brown is exposed, brave crocus shoots appear to bask in the spring sunshine. By end of day those tender, stripey green shoots were topped with precious golden buds. Next day of sun, the buds will burst to bloom. Two newcomer hellebores also surfaced from under their snow cover, with glorious buds that whisper of anticipation. These champions of spring are surrounded by brown, crunchy leaves and last year’s garden debris. This contrast with dry brown makes their sweet green and delicate buds all the better. If you want to add the thrill of first bloomers to your garden consider: witch hazel, pussy willow or forsythia as shrubs, hellebore as a perennial, crocus, snowdrops or the earliest tulips and daffodils as bulbs, and you can now play with pansies!