I love all things miniature, and tiny flowers are no exception. Most of the small-scaled plants and alpines are soon overwhelmed in this rough-and-tough landscape, losing the fight against the more vigorous neighbours in the garden and the hardy native plants.

Miniature daffodils, however, survive and thrive — a constant source of joy and delight.

Jen's miniature daffodils The fact that the mice and deer don’t eat them, well, that’s just a wonderful bonus!

Here, in my Zone 4 Maritime garden, miniature daffodils are the true harbingers of spring. In the warm sheltered sunny patch by the old lilacs, where the concrete underground septic tank draws the sun’s heat into the earth, miniature daffodils bloom early —

Miniature daffodils bloom even earlier than the crocus, scilla, and other small spring-flowering bulbs, usually, at least in my garden. In early April, when we’re still getting whomped by occasional snowstorms but the winter’s drifts begin to melt and dwindle, it’s the brave green shoots of miniature daffodils that poke up first through the crystal-white snow. Even if we get more snow thereafter, I’m sure to be greeted, one bright morning in the third week of April, by a perky little bouquet of bright yellow blossoms.

I mention miniature daffodils now because today — Mother’s Day — I picked the last of this year’s fading blooms.

Yes, it was a lovely long season for the little darlings this year, almost a full month of flowers. Soon the foliage will begin to yellow and die back — I just tuck the dying leaves out of sight under the leaves of surrounding perennials, to give the foliage a chance to feed the bulbs for next year.

Meanwhile, other yellow flowers take over from the happy miniature daffodils… The forsythia bushes are starting to burst into bloom, at last, and the roadsides are full of cheerful yellow coltsfoot and dandelions. Pussy willows have blown out their fuzzy grey buds into the neon-yellow flowers that are always busy with pollen-gathering bees. Trout lilies (which people also call “adder’s tongue” and “dog tooth violet”) are showing their delicate yellow bells in the ditches and damp woods…

Every season has its charms, but I do believe that mid-May is my absolute favourite time… here, anyway, in the Maritime provinces of Canada. (Other places, other times!)

Every time I step outside, or even look out the window, the beauty strikes anew. I deeply love our landscape in this yellow-dominated phase of burgeoning spring, when even the fresh new leaves of the hillside trees are a bright light green that seems tinged with sunshine…

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