Last weekend I saw these. They are leaves of Daffodil "Tete a Tete", pushing up through a carpet of Maple leaves.
Those bulbs are ones that have previously been grown in pots. Rather than storing them over the Summer (or even worse, throwing them away), I planted them in clumps of about 5 or 6 all along the side of the garden where the big Dogwoods grow. The foxes / badgers have dug up a few I notice, but enough will survive to bring a little colour to the border before the shrubs are in leaf.
This one is Tulip, in similar conditions. The stick is a marker to stop me digging it up and to protect it from animals.
Nearby, around the edge of my micro-pond are some Hardy Geraniums. Their new shoots are bright red, so easily spotted as they emerge:
This is also at the edge of the pond - Red-veined Sorrel.
Nearby I can see the buds of Lily of the Valley beginning to swell:
Lily of the Valley spreads rapidly too, given the right conditions, so I have no hesitation about ripping it out if it tries to grow in a place where it's not welcome.
Around the trunks of the 3 trees in my back garden I have planted lots of Crocuses (again, ones that have previously been grown in pots), and these are just beginning to peep through. One of them seems to have produced its flower even before surfacing from underneath the weed-suppressing membrane:
Round the side of the house, by the back door, the Aquilegias are beginning to appear. The new leaves are bright purple when they emerge, gradually lightening as they get bigger. The straw-like stalks from last year's leaves will soon be in demand as nesting-material for the birds, so I try not to be too rigorous in removing them.
At the weekend I pruned my solitary Pear tree (it's grown as a minarette, so it didn't take me very long!). I noticed that the buds are beginning to fatten:
Last year this tree produced no fruit at all (it has developed a biennial habit), so hopefully this means that this year I will get a few fruit.
With the Blueberries, something would have to go disastrously wrong for me to get no fruit, since I have six plants, all of different varieties!
Finally, since we are talking about buds opening, let's take a look at the Hellebores again:
Yes, that's right, buds but STILL no open flowers. Soon, maybe, soon...