I spent some time in the garden this weekend mostly trimming shrubs to remove old wood, crossing branches, and shaping. I did see one crocus blooming but inadvertently stepped on it while trimming. I have given up on planting crocuses since the squirrels consider it great sport to seek them out. Several years ago I wanted to colonize a section of lawn with crocuses so I ordered a couple hundred and with an electric drill went to work planting them in the lawn in what I envisioned would be drifts of color. The squirrels ate well that winter but about 30 per cent survived the assault so it was still a nice showing but he following year they got the rest.
I have one Camellia in bloom. This one is my earliest bloomer and never fails to start in February. Cold spells burn the blossoms but they are a bright spot at this time of the year.
This next flower is on a woody leafless shrub. It's a mystery shrub--I don't remember its name and don't remember planting it either. I probably got it at a clearance event or Master Gardener plant sale and have long lost the tag. It's a keeper though with a very delicate flower that doesn't brown with a cold snap. I need to move it to a more visible spot in the garden. Update 3/11/10. My mystery shrub is Paperbush. (Edgeworthia chrysantha)