Some things in life never get the credit they deserve. Take for instance the lovely genus Pulsatilla. How many of you even know it? How many of you who do know it have it? How many of you who have it value it for all it’s worth? Like I do?

Pasque flower is a true harbinger of the “real” spring.

Rain, snow, or sunshine.

The entire genus, consisting of about 40 plants, appears throughout the northern hemisphere. I grow a purple one, a blue one, and two red ones. No matter what the color, I’m uncertain of the exact species of any of them. I grew them all from seed. Both my record system and my memory aren’t worth a damn. Therefore, I call all of them by the one common name I know–Pasque flower. Seems to indicate they will bloom on Easter, and, you know what, they always do. No matter the color. No matter the specific epithet. No matter what the weather and no matter where in the spring Easter falls.

And I love them. They, like the Judd viburnums, mark the true beginning of spring and are an absolute indicator that I somehow survived another winter. And today, Easter 23, they’re in bloom. And I’m happy. And I want to share them with you.

And tell the world’s only Pulsatilla joke, which I will officially retire from my talks now that I’ve posted it on the internet. I will “retire” it in the same way the Who “retired” from touring in 1985. And ’87. And…

So here it goes: Pulsatilla starts out as your cherubic, innocent, cuddly and fuzzy-faced little infant child. And all you want to do is to hold it close, hug it, smell it, and rub it on your face.

But, way too soon, it becomes your tall, skinny teenager with weird hair. 

Ba-da-bump. Pause for laughter. “Thanks everyone! It’s been great. I gotta go now. See you next time. Happy Easter!”