It was still relatively cool out, but sunny. I looked around the yard. The mahonia, otherwise known as the Oregon grape holly, had formed some little blue "grapes." It must have attracted some of the early pollinators. The winter honeysuckle is still blooming, and leafing out. I think there were a couple of small bees around it, but I didn't see too much of the bumblebees today. They've been pretty busy pollinating anything blooming. I've seen them just about every time I've gone to see the winter honeysuckle.
In the shade garden that used to be the vegetable garden, there were a number of ferns unfolding their fiddleheads, perhaps a dozen lady ferns and the two Japanese painted ferns. The acorus was there, doing whatever acorus do. I'm not sure if it's Acorus calamus, though I'm pretty sure that's what I was trying to get. I don't particularly see why it would inspire poets, except that the broken leaves smell that good. There were some astilbe leaves coming up, and something else I'd deliberately planted there. I'll have to go look again. Last year, there was a pulmonaria still alive, and it rained a lot last year, so I'll have to look for that. I think that's quite pretty. It has little blue flowers that change to pink -- or perhaps it's little pink flowers that change to blue.
In the other little shade garden, the bleeding heart was starting to bloom, and there were a lot of lily-of-the-valley leaves up. I think that's the pink lily-of-the-valley. The sweet woodruff is spreading out. The snowdrop leaves are still persisting. I should take a picture so I know where they are, and don't dig them up. They must be Galanthus elwesii. The leaves are quite broad. I'll have to look for the hosta I planted there. I like the hostas with white-edged blue leaves, or white-edged medium to dark green leaves. I think the one I got was a relatively old variety -- I got it at Home Depot, and they seem to be good on providing reliable perennials, as far as I can tell. I should look in the Perennial Delights catalog when I have money. They've got an incredible variety of hostas.
In the herb garden, the bee balm was coming up. There's a lone grape hyacinth blooming there, and three or four fans of orris leaves. The tradescantia leaves are coming up. I wanted to get one with plain green leaves, but I suppose the practically Day-Glo-lime-colored leaves ensure that I won't weed it out. I saw elecampane leaves coming up in a couple of places. The last three years or so, there's been one that comes up at the front of the garden. There's not a lot to see behind it except for all the soapwort, so I don't really care. I'd just as soon see the elecampane flowers. The White Rose of York is still taller than it, and blooms earlier anyway. There's some lemon balm in there, and apple mint along the back edge of the garden, against the house. I expect the comfrey will come up. Once you plant it, you can never get rid of it. I wish I'd considered I might become allergic to it before I planted it, but what did I know? I'd like to grow hops again, if I can find a little plant of it. Not that I'd actually try to brew beer, but it makes a nice climbing plant. Last time I grew it, it climbed over the kitchen window (Mom was not happy) and was making pretty good progress up the second story of the house when Dad cut it back, dug it up and planted it in the shade, where it disappeared under the ivy. If I find it this year, or order a start of it, I'll plant it somewhere that's not right under the kitchen window.
The sweet shrub is already in bud. I could swear that was more of a May thing, but apparently a lot of things are blooming early. The white lily-of-the-valley in the white rectangular pot by the herb garden is in bud. I'll have to check that in a few days. I have some in a pot on the table out back, too. I'd tried to dig it up to sell when the garden club participated in the plant sale last year. Either I broke the stems off while I was trying to dig it up, or while I was trying to pot it up. The stems have come back from both circumstances. The emerald-and-gold mint in a pot on the table is coming back. There are lots of little tiger lily plants coming up in the pots by the back door. Most aren't big enough to flower this year, but maybe next year. There are still a number of grape hyacinth blooming by the back door. I've got to plant more daffodils there again.
The quince tree is blooming -- cute little soft pink flowers -- and the apple trees are blooming. It's one of the prettiest times of the year around here.