I felt a small thrill when the Garden’s first flowering Cyclamen coum of 2012 was spotted today. Soon they will be everywhere! January is a great time to relax indoors, but it can also be a great time to get outside and visit gardens in the Northwest.

Other winter bloomers are also at work in the Garden. Our witch hazels (Hamamelis mollis and H. x intermedia) are in full bloom. Some early rhododendrons, Sarcococca, and Viburnum bodnantense ‘dawn’ are also in flower this week.

Somehow, even something as simple as winter light brings new perspective to a Garden visit. During a quick walk today, I felt as though I were seeing some plants in the Garden for the first time. The leafless canopy allows winter’s diffuse light to reach the ground, revealing much beautiful form and color that is hidden in the harsh shade of summer.

Don’t stay indoors. There is too much to enjoy outside, even in January!