First buds emerging

 Can you make out the three buds in this photograph?   They certainly weren’t in evidence this morning when I brushed leaf debris
from the Liverlilies (Hepatica nobilis). 
Spring01_002_4
But by mid-afternoon, with warmer
temperatures and much sunshine, they made their
appearance. I was excited, to put it mildly. This was an entirely unexpected treat.

For those who read my blog
last spring, you might be thinking – oh no, not the Liverlilies again. I am falling even more in love
them because they seem to do so well here.  Their foliage also looks great throughout the summer. Their beautiful sky-blue flowers are simple, but elegant. Two neighbouring
Liverlily plants will soon be in bud, while two others are still
under snow on the shadier and cooler side of the garden.

 
This past winter, I entertained myself by imagining my
plants with their own personalities and inhabiting a world constructed
entirely in my mind. In this world, plants slowly wake in the spring and
carefully fold their leaves to sleep in autumn.  During their waking hours, the world
is brimmi
ng with activity – there’s drama, comedy, music, mystery, the odd chase
scene and so much more.
 
Here is a short tale of the first day of the three
liverlily blooms
:

"What is that rustling noise I hear overhead?," I
murmured. Ah finally … some light and warmth on my back. Maybe if I
poke my head up, I’ll know if it’s time to emerge from m
y cosy world. One tiny
push and here I am, braving the world for the first time.

"Come on, hurry, it’s warm up here," I whisper to my
friends as I nudge them awake. "Wake up, wake up. We’ve slept long enough and
there’s nothing quite like the feeling of warm sunshine."
 
"Not so quickly," cautioned the tattered, elderly
brown-leaf  high above us. "Take your time – there’s no rush. The
sun isn’t going anywhere, at least not for a few hours."
 
"I hope that big brown dog won’t step on us like he did
last year," grumbled a neighbouring bud, slowly stretching and yawning.
 
"It wasn’t his fault," said another elderly brown leaf.
"Don’t you remember that bothersome squirrel? I don’t mean the nice one he
liked, but the other one – the one with the fluffy tail?"
 
This brought talk of our memories of last summer when we were
still under the earth, but listening to the world above. "That’s the squirrel who
ate our tulip neighbours just before we went on our long sleep," 
said our brown-leaved friend as she prodded another bud
above earth.
 
Now that we buds were happily sunning ourselves, the
brown leaves swayed gently above us and talked among themselves of their happiness in seeing the blue sky. We listened intently and looked everywhere,
thankful that our world was bright with light again.

52 thoughts on “First buds emerging

  1. pRiyA says:

    oh, that was just SO nice to read!
    πŸ™‚
    Hi Priya – Thank you – the only thing is that I am spending time writing to the exclusion of other things!

  2. VP says:

    Not there in the morning, appeared by the afternoon. It’s like magic isn’t it? Glad spring is finally getting there – we’ve had snow here just to confound things a bit.
    Though when I say snow, nothing by Canadian standards πŸ˜‰
    Hi VP, It still sounded as if you got a good amount of snow. Spring is here in fits and starts, not like it’s usual sudden entry.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Oh yes, I can feel your excitement. It is the most fun finding the first buds of the warm season.
    Hi Lisa, There is something special with the first buds of the season It’s amazing how exciting it was.

  4. Frances says:

    Hi Kate, thanks so much for the eavesdropping on the hepatica converstion. Do give us more as their wake up continues, as well as the other plants. I imagine different genus’ having different personalities, some gruff, some delicate. A wonderful take on spring returning to your part of the world. Hooray for spring!
    Hi Frances, It’s quite something to hear these underground conversations – I never realised just how interesting plants’ lives were until I started listening … every plant has its own distinctive character!

  5. Iowa Gardening Woman says:

    Long Live the Liverlilies! πŸ™‚ Enjoyable post
    Hi Iowa Gardening Woman, I’m glad to see you back in blogland! I hope the Liverlilies last a good long while. They seem to bloom at different times depending on their location in the garden.

  6. Cis says:

    It IS exciting to see new buds. I checked my bulbs but nothing is up yet. Our yard is a soggy mess so I hope they don’t rot! The only thing I have up is a few rhubarb buds … mostly because the area where they live was one of the first areas to lose the snow, that and the area where the bulbs are planted. Most of the rest of the front yard is still under snow.
    Hi Cis, Things are slow getting going this year. My mum’s rhubarb isn’t showing up at all yet. The pond is still covered in ice, but at least all surrounding rocks are showing now. Soon you’ll be seeing your bulbs.

  7. Ottawa Gardener says:

    spring – when small shoots are as impressive as dinner plate flowers. Looks good!
    Hi Ottawa Gardener, There’s nothing quite like spring, is there? Thank you – I’m glad the snow is almost gone.

  8. teeni says:

    Oh, this was adorable! You need to give your plants personalities more often. It was like reading a mini play. Loved it! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Hi Teeni, Thank you – I’m planning to do many more of these… stay tuned!

  9. Sandy says:

    We must be at about the same stage of spring gardening, Kate. The snow cover on my garden has been gone since yesterday, and today, I went out to see what was poking through the ground. A lot really! The daylilies, mallow, penstemon, and chives are up several inches, and many other plants are right behind them.
    I bought hepatica acutiloba this year, but it is still very tiny. It is going out at the edge of the woods, along with a lot of the other wild plants in the garden.
    Let’s hear some more from your underground friends. Great story!
    Hi Sandy, It sounds as if there is lots of spring activity there. I’m curious to see photographs of the Hepatica acutiloba … I’ll be doing more stories from the underground!

  10. nikkipolani says:

    How lovely, Kate! You can wax rhapsodic on liverlilly anytime πŸ™‚ A friend of mine spent many years living in Europe and acquired the habit of calling many objects “he” or “she”. This habit has rubbed off on me, so I’m often personalizing my plants, though not usually describing their day as you have done πŸ™‚
    Hi Nikki, I think that is a lovely habit to have. Once I started thinking of my plants thoughts, well now I do it all the time. I will be obsessed with Liverlilies for weeks and then enjoy their foliage for the rest of the summer.

  11. Karen says:

    Lovely story Kate, Glad that Spring is well and truly on its way for you now.
    Regards
    Karen
    Hi Karen, Thank you … I am glad spring is here. Rain today … so glad it isn’t snow.

  12. Megan says:

    I wish I could speak plant language – perhaps that would explain why three plants in a hedge of around 20 buxus have suddenly developed an eating disorder! Mx
    Hi Megan, I wonder what’s bothering them. How long have they been planted? I hate when plants start dying … have you checked for insects? There must be a lot of grumbling going on between them.

  13. june says:

    How fun! The conversation you’ve transcribed reminds me of the flower scene in Alice in Wonderland (the TV version with Carol Channing). Although your flowers sound much more pleasant than the ones in Wonderland. πŸ™‚
    Hi GreenThumbR, I am so glad you mentioned this because I had completely forgotten about it … maybe a long-ago memory of reading Alice in Wonderland set me on this path …

  14. Alyssa says:

    What a wonderful little story! You are so talented.
    I used to take Ashley down the path where May-Apples were coming up and tell her stories about the “May-Apple People”. She was very young and loved the stories about tiny people living amoung the flowers. Infact, last year as we walked the same path, she begged me to tell her a story again! Your Liver-Lilies conversing reminded me of my stories. Great post!
    Hi Alyssa, I loved hearing your reminiscences about Ashley and the May Apples. I don’t think we ever tire of these stories… you should write some of them down!

  15. Simon says:

    Thanks for stopping by Kate – my ankle has had this injury before, I know how to handle it – its already eased off quite a lot, and it felt easier this morning. Yes the snow left quickly… clear blue skies this morning! Weather… huh… can’t predict it at all.
    Hi Simon – I was surprised by the snow there. I didn’t realise it was an unpredictable there as it is here. At least we expect snow before the end of May whereas that isn’t expected really in England. I’m glad to hear the ankle is better!

  16. Sarah Laurence says:

    Great to finally see signs of spring in the north! And speaking of north – interesting to learn from your comment that you play Scottish fiddle tunes. So many talents growing in your garden!
    Hi Sarah, Yes, finally! I am so relieved to be able to walk outdoors without wearing heavy clothes and to see the ground again. I love playing fiddle tunes – this latest Scottish one is giving me fits because it’s so tricky. Last year, there was a fiddle party in my garden – it was a magical night!

  17. Astrid says:

    It was nice to hear from you Kate. I enjoyed browsing through your site and loved the title especially. Lilies are my new favorite too. Mine are flowering beautifully right now – must upload the pix soon.
    Hi Astrid, I enjoy visiting your blog. Your world looks so different from mine! I hope you do post more pictures!

  18. wildlifegardener@btinternet.com says:

    Great fun there, Kate. I do believe our plants, trees and flowers would have tales to tell us if only they could speak.
    Come and see the Leap Frog At Barleycorn video, dear Kate, the follow-up to the Froggie Hoedown πŸ™‚
    Hi WG, I do believe that they talk – their language is just different from ours πŸ™‚ (a sign of impending madness perhaps?) I will stop by to see the Leap Frog going on … the square dancing was great fun!

  19. Annie in Austin says:

    What sweet and gentle conversations you have with the Liver Lilies, Kate – I like to eavesdrop and love the Alice in Wonderland reference!
    My garden is much less refined right now – it’s already hot, we need rain and the trees and plants are concentrating on much new leafage. What I hear sounds like Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors –
    “Feed me!”
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    Hi Annie, I think I’m forever destined to hear my plants talking. What’s worse is now I’m hearing plants carrying on conversations wherever I go.
    Just wait until the tent caterpillars and cutworms arrive and the plant conversations will take a turn … like yours crying out as they starve. You made me laugh with your ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ comment. Scary thought that, although some of the flowers in Alice weren’t much better.

  20. Cheryl says:

    After reading the sad comment above, i feel quite guilty leaving something so normal.
    Lovely post Kate….I love the play, I got quite carried away with it.
    Hi Cheryl, Don’t feel guilty – we need to have good things too that nurture us.

  21. our friend Ben says:

    Ah, hepaticas. The loveliest of all spring flowers. One loves them as one’s self, or one remains oblivious. Happy to see that you’re among the first contingent!
    Hi Our Friend Ben, I agree with you on that … they are the loveliest. They give much pleasure.

  22. Colette says:

    Enjoyed the story, Kate. : ) When we lived in the snow country, my son and I always watched for the first signs of the crocuses to pop their heads up through the last of the snow. Oh the delight when they appeared!
    I left a message for you regarding magnolias, in the comments at The Garden. It’s on today’s post. Have a happy spring!
    Hi Colette, there is something special about plants appearing when children are near. I love the image of you and your son awaiting the crocuses.

  23. Tammy says:

    Hi Kate, I did a post and I thought you would enjoy it. We are putting in a complicated water feature and I thought you might suggest cool water feature plants. I got hail last night but thankfully no snow. πŸ˜‰
    Hi Tammy, I’ll be over to have a look. I think it’s great you are doing this. There’s something quite amazing about the sound of water in the garden.

  24. Brenda Kula says:

    Though it’s nice to try new plants, I find it easier to go with the flow and plant native. They don’t disappoint as much and they thank you with bountiful blooms. I’m glad you’re finally seeing spring there.
    Brenda
    Hi Brenda, I agree with you – Liverlilies are native plants in quite a number of states and a few provinces in Canada – they are absent in Texas.

  25. Abby Creek Art says:

    I love this story, Kate…how sweet and lovely.
    I’ve been seeing lots of daffodils, iris and crocus around here. Tomorrow though…snow again!
    Hi Linda, Your spring is more advanced than here – although today we had rain and not snow. Thankfully. At least we know that, at this time of year, the snow doesn’t last for long.

  26. Selma says:

    That has cheered me up completely. You have a gift for positive, uplifting writing, I hope you realise that. How incredible to think those little bulbs have lain dormant all winter and are now coming to life. It really is a miracle!
    Hi Selma, Thank you for telling me this – the arrival of spring is a miracle …

  27. willow says:

    What a sweet story. I SAW the pictures in my mind as I read!
    Hi Willow, Thank you … I was writing as if they were little people speaking. You’d understand with your kindergarten students …

  28. Aiyana says:

    Nice little conversation among the hepatica. I wonder what the never-ending weeds are saying when I come out in my hat, gloves and hoe! They should be scared!
    Aiyana
    Hi Aiyana, I’m sure they feel as if war has been declared and there won’t be any ceasefire. Your comment made me laugh.

  29. green thumb says:

    Hi dear Kate,
    Oh! how I wish I could live in the world of your imagination, its beautiful.
    Yes, all plants have personalities, and it takes a good sensitive person like you to actually be able to appreciate them.
    Hi Green Thumb, You are so kind … I love the world of my imagination and have decided to share it more often. I really do think plants have their distinct personalities.

  30. Diana says:

    Kate – what an enchanting idea and story. I was just explaining perennials to my 5-year-old daughter as sleeping in the winter. I will have to read her your post – she will find it delightful.
    Hi Diana – Thank you – I am hoping that it will keep people entertained, as well as doing some explaining about different plants and what they need to thrive.
    I hope your daughter enjoys the story!

  31. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    At last Kate, Spring has reached your garden too. I know how much you’ve longed for this moment and now it is there.
    What a charming conversation you had with your Liver Lilies!
    Hi Yolanda Elizabet, Finally spring has arrived. It is being rather slow, but that’s okay. The snow has disappeared and that makes me happy. Thank you – I love having conversations with my plants and listening to them when they don’t know I’m listening.

  32. Jean Ann says:

    I love it when spring finally arrives! We are going to have three days of sun and warmth…everything will pop up and say hi!
    Hi Jean Ann, That is so true – it’s as if the flowerrs are waving hello to us. Spring is such a great time.

  33. gracia says:

    “This past winter, I entertained myself by imagining my plants with their own personalities and inhabiting a world constructed entirely in my mind.”
    I do the very same with my collage and drawings.
    Happy green days,
    g xo
    Hi Gracia, these magical worlds are what sustain us and keep our creative minds churning … I imagine your animals carry on lively conversations – I know they do!

  34. Mary says:

    Kate,
    You are remarkable! What a lovely improvisation… I burst into laughter:
    “I hope that big brown dog won’t step on us like he did last year,”
    You are too much. It’s been a while since I visited here and I’m so glad I came.
    Mary
    Hi Mary, It’s good to see you. I have lots of fun coming up with these stories. I hate to think of what I’ll be like in my dotage!

  35. Layanee says:

    I think you have the makings of a book. Maybe a Children’s book although the child and the adult sitting right here enjoyed it immensely!
    Hi Layanee – Thank you. I am having fun coming up with plant tales.

  36. Curtis says:

    Oh Kate I loved your story. Go ahead and post away about the Liverlillies again like last year. I enjoy hearing about them.
    Hi Curtis, Thank you! I seem to be fixed right now on watching the Liverlilies (that’s probably because nothing much else is showing yet!)

  37. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    No need to apologize for gushing on & on about Hepatica – I love them too! They just stay in bud so long & seem to take forever to finally bloom, I’ve started checking on them twice a day now.
    Hi MMD, it’s good to know that someone else shares my interest in Liverlilies – okay, make that obsession. I couldn’t believe it this morning when I went out and the buds had disappeared. I wonder why they take so long to open … little teases, I’m thinking.

  38. grannyfiddler says:

    this is just one more reason to love liver! (really, i do!) did you know that in olden times, the heart wasn’t considered the centre of one’s affections…. the liver was!!? i wonder if the name of these plants hearkens back to that earlier time…. i love them with all my liver!
    Hi Granny – LOL. I didn’t know that! It’s hard to imagine the liver as being the centre of affection, but then, our hearts don’t look much better. Interesting … that’ll take me off on a search to learn more about them.

  39. chigiy says:

    I love seeing new sprouts. I get so excited, I always grab the first person who wanders by and make them look at them. Sadly, I seem to be the only one around here that finds them fascinating.
    I remember your liverlilies from last year and how I loved the name.
    I like the new look of your blog.
    Hi Chigiy, Thank you! I do the same – usually the person I grab is my son, who is very tolerant of me, but just doesn’t understand what could possibly have me quite so excited. The name is so cool.

  40. kris says:

    This was great fun, Kate! I can’t wait to hear more lovely stories from your plants. What a beautiful place your imagination is!!
    Hi Kris, I’m glad you enjoyed. More stories are a coming. My imagination can easily get carried away – I quite like that!

  41. Ki says:

    Despite our very warm winter I don’t see any evidence of the Hepaticas I planted. ;( I hope they haven’t somehow died.
    I had to chuckle when I read about the squirrels.
    Hi Ki, That is odd … two of my liverlilies are in full bloom now. The ones on the other side of the garden aren’t doing much yet.
    I thought I’d add the squirrels – they were on my mind after reading your posts.

  42. aria says:

    hi Kate, i see them, i see them!! how exciting, the wee little buds poking out πŸ™‚ don’t let lytton see, he’ll snort them up!
    Hi Aria, it is exciting. I think Lytton’s even excited … so far he just sniffs them … but I’d better be on the lookout for any disappearing up his nose!

  43. kerri says:

    Wonderful Kate! I love your ‘talking lilies’ πŸ™‚ Isn’t it exciting to see buds emerging, and things growing?
    I can’t believe you had 80ΒΊ up there! We haven’t even hit 70ΒΊ yet.
    The yellow shrub is Genista (broom) – Teline Canariensis. I asked Old Roses to check it for me when she visited BBG the week after us. Thanks for the help in naming it.
    I’ll have to try some Liver lilies since they’re such a favourite of yours.
    I’ll catch up with your e-mail soon!
    Hi Kerri, I am glad to know what the shrub is. I didn’t think it would be the really invasive one. Liverlilies are wonderful to grow. They brighten up a shady garden corner for days!

  44. entangled says:

    Things are happening fast in the garden now. Your story reminds me of a video game for some reason – probably because I just read a newspaper article on the popularity of the Sims games.
    Hi Entangled, It is so true – suddenly there is all this action. My garden was slowly awakening until the other day when the temperature soared. Now so many things are poking through the earth. A video game, huh? Cool.

  45. joey says:

    A lovely story, Kate. You certainly have a gift with words. Spring does make our heart and soul sing!
    Hi Joey, that is very kind of you to say. Spring does do wonderful things for us.

  46. Shady Gardener says:

    I need to find out more about Liverlilies! They are just tooo cute (they and their personalities!) πŸ˜‰
    Hi Shady, Liverlilies are great shade plants and have lovely personalities.

  47. Kylee says:

    Hepatica! You’ve got hepatica! I want some so badly. I think the nursery we’re visiting this Friday near Columbus has some and I WILL buy it if they do. I’ve wanted some for so long!
    My dear Kate, my apologies for being so behind in reading your blog (as well as many others). With the wedding coming up in a few weeks, my training, and being so busy in the gardens, it seems like I have no time to read those blogs I love to visit, like yours. I’m trying to get caught up though! I’m missing so much! I hope you’re doing okay! *Hugs*

  48. legal bud says:

    β€œ I grow more fascinated by these creatures with each passing day, surprisingly not due to their foreign customs or their emotional outbursts. No, my fascination surrounds an almost unspoken habit that rings true in the humans of the civilized world as well. It is the act of locating and excavating the pimples on the creatures’ family members. As they cannot reach their own backs and as they are without professional exfoliation professionals, it makes perfect sense. So much so to my own past experiences…

  49. Abby Lanes says:

    Kate,
    Your blog is just fabulous! Thanks for putting a link. Do you have a “follow” button, or is that just a google thing? I’ll be back.
    ~Abby

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