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There's something wonderful about the first warm rain of the season. Stepping outside yesterday morning I smelled it right away - the smell of rain - petrichor.
Petrichor, a greek word, is a pleasant smell that results from the first rain after a long dry spell. That earthy fragrance is actually an oily essence emitted from rocks or soils that have been kissed by airborne organic matter. The resulting perfume triggers emotions and perhaps even a little romance.
"When decomposed organic material is blown airborne from dry soil," PBS' Joe Hanson explains, "it lands on dirt and rock where it's joined by minerals. And the whole mixture is cooked in this magical medley of molecules. Falling raindrops then send those chemicals airborne, right into your nostalgic nostrils." Watch his fun, informative video here.
That first spring rain coaxes life from the earth, and it compels me to forage on. Crocuses blooming in yellows and purples, grasses beginning to green, daffodils and perennials emerging from their sleep.
I move aside a few leaves and am greeted with the early buds of a hellebore like the ones shown above freshly captured by our greenhouse manager, Debbie Polansky. Hellebores, known commonly as Lenten Rose, are happiest in the shade, in a woodland garden, and thankfully the deer don't have a fondness for them like I do.
My penchant for these delicate roses of spring continues to grow, as does my collection. This year I have my eye on a couple new varieties that we'll be carrying here at BGC, both from the Winter Thriller series: 'Wedding Ruffles' is a pure white double.
And 'Peppermint Ruffles' - those double pink petals - can you say gorgeous?
and sweet, lovely hellebores
Every year, I fall in love with them all over again.
Maybe its the rain :)
- Tracy Hankwitz
BGC Store Manager
images from Hoffie Nursery