My first daffodil of 2011 bloomed last Wednesday.  Short and stocky but so very welcome, this variety is Rijnveld’s Early Sensation. 

It is always first of the winter flowers and in past years,  has bloomed as early as New Year’s Day.  

Due to our cold December and January, Rijnveld is more than a month late this year–but no matter.  The daffodils have started.  One variety after another will follow.   As far as this gloomy cold winter is concerned–Rijnveld’s Early Sensation is the beginning of the end. 

Also blooming last week–my Wintersweet shrub, Chimonanthus.   Tall and gangly, it’s waxy flowers will perfume the whole yard on a warm winter day. 

 I actually grew this shrub from seed–one of my first big successes.  Maybe it wasn’t such a big achievement after all–the shrub now seeds readily in my garden with no help from me.  I usually have a few nice plants  to give away every year.   

I was at friend Ivy and Megan’s yesterday when they discovered their prunus mumme was in boom.  Very exciting for all us–

There’s something so special about the first booms of spring.  Make sure to get out in your garden this week and see what’s happening.  Then, let us know.

PS–My favorite book about gardening, A Southern Garden, by Elizabeth Lawrence, has a chapter called, “Spring Starts in February”.  Nice to know that it’s still true even in cold, gloomy winters like this one.