The first sign is the sunshine. Blue skies and no fog? Winter is a mere wisp of a memory on days like this.
I walk out the front door and see leaf buds on the Rose of Sharon. It won't be long before it's all green, with flowers and bumblebees rolling around in their pollen. A blooming Rose of Sharon also means hummingbirds and the faint "peep! peep!" of their protests as they fight over the best looking blooms. :)
A lone ranunculus is also blooming. I used to have dozens of them, but one particularly wet winter drowned all but this single survivor. This same plant returns year after year. I think it's 5 or 6 years old by now. Now that's what I call determination! :)
Finally, I spy orchids, also beginning to push up buds. One day soon this will be a mass of red violet, all courtesy of my friend Bette Beebe. Years ago - 15 or more years ago - she gave me 2 or 3 starters. I now have them planted in multiple locations, but this is the first and the best. Every year, the orchids and the iris remind me of Bette. She was the first to donate to my garden, and her donations are often the first signs of Spring. Thank you Bette. I miss you.
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