I wanted to include photographs from the first blooms in my garden. My computer, the cloud, the gods are not permitting. So I will describe my first discovery.
Imagine a three-pointed miniature iris, a dark purple, touched with bright gold drops like eyes:
Then the tiniest viola:
Finally, a pair of Johnny jump-ups:
The viola is also called Heart’s Ease, and no wonder. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it plays a more potent role. Oberon sees Cupid’s arrow find a target but it is intercepted by the silvery beams of the chaste moon. He tells Puck,
Yet mark’d I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew’d thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
May we all see these western flowers in fleeting spring, heralding the way to midsummer.