Early season blooms have started to appear this week in tandem with some other solid signs that we’ve turned a corner away from winter and closer to the start of spring here in my neck of the woods. While most gardeners are raving about the snowdrops — and they are beautiful, no doubt — I was most delighted to see another, though less popular harbinger of the season, Eranthis hyemalis unfurling in the sun for the first time.
Gardeners often complain about the difficulty in establishing eranthis, but most of my experiences with this early bloom have been with plants that appeared mysteriously from nowhere and established themselves with no work at all.
I think we could use more orange today.
Until recently I was unaware that witch hazel is cold tolerant in my climate. Here’s the evidence: a large witch hazel tree in full bloom just this morning in my friend’s garden.
We’re experiencing a warm and sunny spell here in Toronto that is lifting our collective spirits. Suddenly things are in bloom as if it is spring. But it isn’t really quite spring and I keep reminding myself that while all signs point to it, we could have another blizzard ahead of us just yet.
March is a deceptively soft and cuddly lamb, for now.
More witch hazel:
Ackee is a lychee-like fruit that is poisonous when raw and must be put through a series of processes to make it edible. Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national meal. It is popular in many other parts of the Caribbean but seems to be overlooked in Dominica. On the other hand, saltish seasoned with hot peppers and onion is very popular in Dominica and often eaten with breakfast.
I had never seen an ackee tree up close and didn’t realize how high on my list of experiences it was until I spotted this one in the Kalinago Territory on Dominica’s East Coast. Beautiful, don’t you think?
More on ackee.
More on saltfish.
I took this photo in Dominica on an organic farm tour in an area called Bellvue Chopin. Our tour was with Roy Ormond. If you ever get a chance to do a tour I encourage you to seek him out specifically. The farm specializes in traditional herbal medicines and Mr. Ormond was very knowledgeable and generous in sharing that knowledge.
That morning, including these adorable little tortoises, was one of the highlights of my trip.