I love seeing signs of spring: birds flocking in overhead, soft green buds on tree branches, little green leaves popping out of the ground, and flowers, oh how I love seeing spring flowers.
Spring came earlier this year in Montreal, especially in the Botanical Garden's little sheltered courtyard. Employees from all over have been passing by the office to get a glimps and a snif of the vibrant and wonderfully odorant Witch-Hazel flowers.
Wikipedia just informed me that Witch-Hazel branches were once used as divining rods to find ground water. The name just reminds me of the bottle of astringent liquid used to tighten up your pores, reducing the appearance of blackheads - not quite as exciting. However, it is still a valid associationg since Witch Hazel liquid is produced from the leaves and the bark of the North-American variety (Hamamelis virginiana).
First used by Native Americans to treat cuts, insect bites, and other inflammations; it's now widely used all over the world. Apparently, you can also use it instead of hair-spray when curling your hair - amazing what you can learn on the internet is it not?
What I really like about this plant, apart from the wonderful smell, is the look of its flowers. They appear before the new leaves, each part comes in groups of four; 4 red cup-shaped sepals, 4 half an inch long, very slim or strap-shaped, yellow petals, 4 red stamens, and a double stigma.
How wonderful. Anyway, this plant is also called Winterbloom because of its early blooms. They make me terribly happy. Another thing that brings joy to my heart are little tulips sprouting out from the still snow covered ground. The Botanical Garden has an intensive tulip display as you walk in the main gate. I noticed the first leaves this week so I took a picture to share with you guys - for once I had my camera and found a subject that doesn't run off before I can snap a picture.
I tell you more about tulips once we can see more of their characteristics. I'll try and post pictures of their development every week, we can watch them grow together.
You can see the main building of the Botanical Garden looming in the background, that's where I work...I think I might have never mentionned that... I must tell you all about my exciting job, but that will be for another time darlings for I am simply exhausted. Until then, keep your eyes open for signs of the coming spring - they are all around you just waiting to be noticed.