Life is good when flowers take the place of snow and dead leaves here in West Michigan. Crocus and Witchhazel blooms bursting open on a March day is a sure sign that spring has arrived. As much as I love the beautiful blooms, I love the stories associated with plants in the landscape.
Whether true or fictional, stories like the Greek legend and lore that two lovers loved each other so passionately it caused the earth to burst open in crocus blooms!
Even though I’m sure more fictional than fact, fun to contemplate as the crocus seem to appear out of nowhere and reach for the warmth of the sun.
Another beautiful March bloomer is Witchhazel. Providing some of the earliest spring blooms in Michigan and the best fall color in October. It’s what I call a “bookend” plant in the landscape with quite a show in March and then again at the end of the growing season in October. This plant has a lot of legend and lore too with the word Witch coming from the Old English meaning pliant or bendable. This explains it choice as branches for dowsing rods in the search of water and well sites also know as divining rods. The bark and leaves have astringent qualities giving the extract a long history as cure for an assortment of ailments. It’s almost like magic in March the way the flowers like thin yellow ribbons bloom on bare branches when very few flowers or foliage are around!