This weekend marked my first tentative scratchings at the leaf litter and soil. I was looking for signs of new life, and I found what I was looking for. The Helleborus that I planted late last spring has survived the winter and is sending out new flower buds already. I gently pried away the leaves that have covered them over for so many months, and practically squealed with delight to find at least 3 distinctive flower buds.
I put the leaves back in their place. I'm sure the flowers would survive frost and/or a freeze, but they might as well stay protected until they are ready to push through on their own.
I also spied some ivy that I bought last year and left in a spot in the yard, not really knowing where it's final home would be. Well, it established roots where I left it lie and has some nice green growth. There were also plenty of things growing in harmony with the moss, like the basal rosette of this flower that I do not know. Ahhh, knowing that things are growing... it's a good feeling! And this is only the beginning.