I've been spending some time this morning with Canon Henry N. Ellacombe discovering his answer to the question "When does spring commence?"
There are many wrong answers to this question, according to Ellacombe, including "April". It is also wrong to think of spring flowers as being those that bloom in the spring months of March, April and May.
Instead, Ellacombe says that none other than Lord Francis Bacon had the right answer when he described his ideal garden in which he would have Ver perpetuum.
Ver perpetuum, a perpetual spring. Now, there's a thought, especially when one's garden is covered in snow.
According to Ellacombe, "To the real lover of plants, spring lasts from the first of January to the thirty-first of December, and spring flowers are to be found all through the year. To put it another way, spring is the time at which flowers wake out of their sleep, and the awakening takes place, not according to months, or even to weather, but according to the needs and nature of each different plant."
I went outside later and looked for some spring amongst the snow, some Ver perpetuum. I had to look closely to find the leaves of a crocus that dared to bloom a few weeks ago.
It is more spring-like inside, in the traditional sense, where a hyacinth is blooming
"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths, to feed thy soul."
There are also some Kalanchoe in bloom out in the sunroom.