There’s a delicate pink wildflower called spring beauty, which I used to search for after school while playing in the woods of our farm. I hadn’t seen one in decades, and then yesterday, while walking the dogs in Dumbarton Oaks Park, I was amazed to find a range of them thriving underneath a stand of beech trees. It brought back memories of other spring wildflowers – May apples, dogtooth lilies, wild violets and Jack-in-the-pulpits – tucked into hidden spots beside fallen logs or spreading carelessly across the forest floor. My grandmother taught me not to pick wildflowers because they wilt so quickly – what’s the point of taking the life of a plant that can’t survive to give us the pleasure of admiring it?
Fortunately, that’s what today’s cultivars are for. Now that spring bulbs are in bloom, it’s been a pleasure to snip a snowdrop or tulip to enjoy indoors. This isn’t so much a post as an appreciation of the end of winter; despite winterburn, voracious chipmunks, and muddled gardening, there are still beautiful things in the garden to enjoy. And there are surprises left behind by previous gardeners; someone must have planted hyacinths and irises in our side garden long before we lived here, and it’s like having an old friend show up on your doorstep when they appear each year. We think of flowers as fragile and ephemeral, but they have a remarkably resilient nature, and their own kind of longevity.
Here are a few photos of spring flowers I’ve been bringing indoors: