We returned earlier in the week from a couple of weeks in very-springy England to find that there were few leaves on the trees here but that garden buds were swelling. Now, four days later you can almost watch the leaves pinging open, change is happening so fast. The grass is visibly growing and some very nice flowers are appearing all over the place. It has never ceased to cause us to wonder at the different natures of spring in Canada and in northern Europe. In the latter, spring is a gradual process that slowly unfolds in a calm sequence over several weeks before gradually morphing into summer. Meanwhile in eastern Canada spring pops up almost overnight once the switch is thrown, barely giving you time to enjoy it before summer follows rapidly behind it.

In the past few day, as well as the above initial greening of the garden, we have been visited by returning Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (two males and a female together at one point), Magnolia Warblers – always the first – and a Black-and-White Warbler as well as the season’s first Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Narcissus in fine flowering form, hyacinths, tulips etc. Marsh marigolds glowing in the garden pond. Pasque flowers – purple and white forms. Everywhere blue Pulmonaria and the beginning of the Forget-me-nots which will soon provide a hazy blue background to everything. Amelanchier canadensis blossom just starting to open and the sour cherry won’t be far behind. Tight clumps of unfolding costa leaves are everywhere.

Tim for the spring tidying and spreading of compost mulch while there is still bare enough earth to spread it on.

** Click on any of the photos below to see them at full size – hover over thumbnails for captions to appear:

Magnolia stellata