Friday, February 17, 2012

A Bloom of Significance

The very first crocus has finally bloomed in my garden today.  Joy swept over me.

Last spring I had forgotten I planted crocuses in the garden, and the first one to bloom was a complete surprise.  This fall, I planted over 100 crocus bulbs in the garden.  And I've been waiting and anticipating their arrival ever since.  Every day since their foliage started emerging from the bare earth, I have been checking.  Even in the rain, I would run outside to see when the first crocus would bloom.  Today I continued that ritual.  And as I walked around, looking closely for a crocus bloom (yes, in the rain), there it was.


The tiny little blooms of the crocus seem insignificant.  Henry Mitchell, in his book "One Man's Garden", says that no one should design a garden around crocuses.  That struck me as funny, because - who would?  They are too small.  Their blooms last for only a short time.  In fact, for years, I couldn't understand why anyone would even plant them.

And then I planted one.  And I understood.  These ephemeral blooms are loved by gardeners because they are one of the first blooms of spring.  For many, they signify the coming of spring.  They are common, growing in many zones, and coming in many colors.  And yet, each one is different.  Each one is special.  The gardener has to bend down to look at them closely.  A pause in life.  A celebration of spring.  Hope.  Joy.  All that in each tiny bloom.

Significant.


George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life" had no idea the significance of his life until his angel showed him how the world would be different without it.  So many of us wonder if our lives have significance.  We may not know how, but I think each one does.

Stacy at Microcosm has asked us to come up with a different way of looking at crocuses.  On her blog, she writes "Small lives, small worlds, can still have great meaning."  So true.

There is a cemetery I visit.  I've noticed that there is a grave there that is well tended, with fresh flowers put there often.  It is the grave of a little baby that lived for one day.  I have no doubt that this precious child, that only lived one day, has had great significance.

Finally, the first crocus bloom of the year.

The crocus.  You can't design a garden around them.  You won't see them unless you look carefully.  They don't last for very long.  And yet, their blooms are possibly one of the most anticipated spring bulb, one of the most loved, and one that brings pure delight.

Significant.

72 comments:

  1. I love to see they first in the Spring garden, but you are so right, they last for such a short time. Such a shame too because they always look so happy.

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    1. They are happy blooms, aren't they? Or maybe it's just that we're always so happy to see them!

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  2. It's even more exciting since you've been waiting for so long and looking so hard.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I can't wait now for the others to start blooming! I've had dreams of waves of crocus blooms all winter!

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  3. Hoooray for the first bloom of spring! Sadly, I think I accidentally dug up my little patch of Crocus last summer while weeding out some Spanish Bluebells :-(

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    1. Oh, I hope not. Maybe there are a few left. I tend to pull up things when I'm weeding, too. But, I guess that gives me more room to put more plants in!

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  4. I like that contrast in how important crocuses are, but how little they dominate the scene or for time. Your story about the baby who lived 1 day is quite telling, and the significance they made in the family's life for a short time...

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    1. Thank you. I truly do appreciate this comment.

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  5. Each spring I wish I had planted crocus bulbs, and each fall I decide not to; generally because I am exhausted of gardening and getting the garden beds ready for their winter sleep.

    I WILL plant crocus this fall because now I wish I had planted them - so I could long for their bloom. I enjoyed this post very much and enjoy your writing style. I curated your article for my new magazine [http://www.scoop.it/t/gardens-inspired]; there is a link back to this post and to your blog.

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    1. Oh, I hope you do plant crocus this fall - they're so small, they're easy to plop in - not much work at all, really. And thank you for the inclusion of my post in your magazine. I'm honored.

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  6. Your enthusiasm is inspiring. I get it, I really do

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    1. :) I'm glad. I hope you have some crocuses in your garden!

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  7. Oh how neat, Holley... I love Crocus plants... We have several growing in our yard ---and I can't wait 'til they bloom. Your bloom is SO pretty.... I just can't wait!!!! BUT--snow is on the way here this weekend (so they say) ---so we'll have to wait longer for spring here.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. I wish it hadn't been raining - the poor little bloom looked soaked. Maybe it will get to perk up before it loses its petals.

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  8. What an inspirational post! I always look forward to discovering the first emerging bulbs. In my garden usually the snowflakes or ipheion are the first to bloom. (I don't count the paperwhites, because they start to come up in the fall when there is a lot going on anyway.) I haven't planted crocus for a few years because the squirrels always dig them up. Maybe I'll try them again after reading your post!

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    1. It's always fun to see the first bulbs blooming, isn't it? Such a lovely encouragement that spring is coming.

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  9. A beautifully written post, Holley. And you tricked me - I spent ages lookng at that first photo and trying to see a crocus!

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    1. haha - That's how I felt every day, going to to survey whether or not I had a bloom. Just foliage, just foliage, then finally - one bloom!

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  10. Great post. For me the daffodils and "yellow bells" (forsythia) are the blooms I wait for. My daffs are blooming, and I'm still waiting for my two forsythias. After they bloom this year I'm moving them. They were babies three years ago when I got them from my mom, who got her plants from her mom, who got her plants from her mom.

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    1. I don't have any daffodil blooms just yet. It's odd - I've been looking around and there are daffodils blooming in some areas here, and other areas not yet. I love your story of getting them from your great-grandmother, passed through the generations. What a wonderful story.

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  11. Wonderful post! So truly stated that because we must pause to look, the crocus is significant. The beautiful bloom teaches us to appreciate a small thing and thus enriches our lives. And your particular bloom is very beautiful, indeed!

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    1. If these little blooms were not the first to bloom in the spring, they might get lost in all the abundance of summer. But because they bloom when nothing else does, they are anticipated, sought, and appreciated.

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  12. I liked your comparisons Holley. Not insignificant at all considering these tiny flowers produce the most expensive spice in the world.

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    1. So, they are valuable in every sense of the word - monetarily, and emotionally.

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  13. How exciting! To be able to see and enjoy those first spring blooms. Enjoy.

    FlowerLady

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    1. I hope now that the first one is up, the others will follow shortly. Yeah for spring!

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  14. Lovely Holley! I love crocuses, unfortunately we can't grow them here in South Africa but I love seeing them on all the blogs :)

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    1. Didn't realize you couldn't grow them there. Now that I have them in my garden, I wouldn't want to be without them.

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  15. Waiting patiently for some crocuses. Was hoping for this week because no snow and warming up...now we have snow again...but I love your crocus!!

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    1. Sorry you're still getting snow. But I guess that's better than everything blooming and then getting a late snow. Keep warm!

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  16. Everything God made has a purpose, if even for a day. I was looking through your older posts, trying to catch up, that funky rose cane...I have had foxglove and black eyes susans do that.

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    1. Yes, although we don't realize it, influences from other people and things weave across our lives like threads of a spider web. I bet the foxglove and black eye susans were actually pretty, if they bloomed from each stem!

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  17. How sweet....I love spring bulbs! After months of bare and brown it is so exciting to see those bulbs bursting through to bring us some cheery spring color. I used to plant bulbs but it seems the last several years I forget to do it and then it is too late and then I say I'll do it next year and well you know the rest....

    I had to laugh about you running out in the rain to check on them! lol I do the same thing with seeds I planted or just to see what is coming up from last year or to see the new growth on my roses. Your garden is so beautiful!

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    1. No matter how many years we see new growth in the garden, it never gets old, does it?

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  18. Isn't it fun to have those tiny blooms appear? I'm wondering where more of mine are. There don't seem to be any green leaves poking through the earth where I know I had crocuses last year. No sign of anything digging them up but I suppose something under the ground could have eaten them.

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    1. It took forever for mine to start showing. I would have thought that they would have been up before now, but I guess everything in its own time. Mine from last year are not up yet, either. These that are up are from my fall planted bulbs. I'm hoping to have crocus blooms for quite a period of time.

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  19. It is always wonderful to see that first spring bloom. Just makes you giggle doesn't it? LOL! I remembered to plant crocuses last fall too so I will anticipating the first blooms like you.

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    1. You will be so excited when they come up! Such sweet little blooms.

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  20. This is such a wonderful thing to see - the signs of spring!

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    1. I'm looking for an early spring this year!

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  21. Congratulations. I'm still waiting.

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    1. I hope your come up soon. It's hard to wait!

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  22. What a sweet, heartfelt post. Yes, I too believe everything no matter how small serves an important purpose. Beautiful little bloom you found...glad they're coming up for you.

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    1. Thanks, Cat. I can't wait for the rest to start blooming!

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  23. Lovely post. Crocus are indeed very much looked forward to each spring. A grouping of these tiny flowers does a body good after a long cold winter.

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    1. That's so true! It hasn't been a hard winter here, but I'm still ready for spring!

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  24. That baby-story at the end brought tears to my eyes :-(. And, there lies the significance of crocuses I think. It shows us the fragility of our lives, the fleeting nature of our lives. We don't know where we have come from, where we will go, our life is nothing but a blink of an eye in this cosmos but it is full of significance for us and for people around us and we can make it more significant by showing and dispersing anything beautiful - nice manner, compassion, honesty, love for any creatures and etc etc....That's why I love crocuses.

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    1. Beautifully put, KL. Thanks for that insight.

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  25. true! They'are always so wonderful to see this time of year. The promise of spring!

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  26. Crocus are one of the first plants I learned the name of as a child, mainly because they were blooming when I knew it to still be winter.

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    1. How wonderful that you were learning about gardening, even plant names, as a child. They really are special little blooms.

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  27. Oh the first signs of spring. Such a wonderful sight. It has been a very mild winter here but I still can't wait for spring to come with all its brilliant color!

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    1. It is a wonderful sight to see the first signs of spring! You would think a hard winter would make it more special, but it's just as exciting having had a mild winter!

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  28. I realized today that I have daffs that are about to bloom! I was surprised because it's too early. Ok, I shouldn't have been surprised because our winter has been so mild, but I was. Hello spring! This year my daffs are beating my crocus! Weirdness!

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    1. Some of my irises beat my crocus! Yes, odd indeed!

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  29. Three cheers for crocus! Believe it or not...my crocuses are ready to open any day. And my zone is wayyyy colder than yours! :) Glad you succumbed to the urge to plant them.

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    1. It's odd - I've seen several gardeners in colder zones that have had crocus blooms coming up for a while, and mine are just now starting. I guess they're confused about whether winter will linger or not, too!

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  30. I haven't seen my crocus yet...and it's still early, but that doesn't stop me from looking for them ;)

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    1. I looked for weeks before this one emerged - and poor little thing had to come out in the rain!

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  31. Lucky you, my crocuses just don't like my yard :(. Look like spring is just around the corner.

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    1. Aw, that's sad. I'm waiting to see if the ones I planted last year come up. I'd say spring will be here, surely, within the next few weeks! ;)

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  32. Holley, what a beautiful post. I love what you say about having to bend down to see crocuses, and take a pause--isn't it funny how bending down automatically makes them special somehow? You really do have to stop what you're doing if you want to enjoy them properly. Significant is a great word--so much hope attached to such small flowers. Thanks for taking this one on, Holley!

    Your description of the baby's grave brought tears to my eyes--now matter how painful to the family, that one tiny life will never cease to matter.

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    1. I was going to write a gleeful post, but felt these little flowers deserved a more meaningful post. This was fun to see the different ways crocuses can be thought of.

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  33. Crocus blooms are a pure delight! I look forward to seeing them in the spring, such gentle looking flowers yet so colourful!

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    1. Aren't they the sweetest little things? If they were giant blooms, we might not like them as anywhere near as much!

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  34. My snowdrops are getting ready to open but it will be a while here before we see those wonderful crocuses. Your first of the season is adorable.

    I'm not so sure you can't design an early spring garden around crocuses. My daughter has this wonderful sea of mauve that dominates her rock garden in spring and becomes the center of focus.

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    1. Oh, a rock garden filled with crocuses sounds gorgeous! I bet that is so much more pretty than my crocuses placed here and there! Thanks for the idea!

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  35. I agree with your praise for crocus; they are small and yet mighty as they perform their short duty to awake us from our Winter slumber! And the fresh flowers for the baby - the baby gave so much love in just one day of life that her memory is still so alive - a very touching post.

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    1. They do have a way of making us excited to see spring finally approaching!

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  36. I never planted these beautiful tiny gems, so where would they have come from.
    We have lived here 17 years and this is the first sign of them - EVER - so far lilac and white and by tomorrow a bright orange! WHERE did they come from??
    We have planted and loved our tulips and daffys, but never crocus - they are stunning!!
    Chicago 3/16/12

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    1. That is a mystery! The only thing I can remotely think of is they might have been bonus bulbs mixed in when you planted the other bulbs. Otherwise, I would have no idea! But, what a fun surprise! I love these little bulbs - I hope you enjoy yours, where ever they came from!

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