A witch hazel in Evanston celebrating an early spring.

The official first day of spring is March 20, but it already feels like spring and it’s even beginning to look like spring. Buds are swelling, bulbs are poking up through the earth. Look around and you’ll see some things that are already in in full bloom. A shrub already in full bloom with bright yellow flowers is the Vernal Witch Hazel. Typically, this is the earliest woody plant to bloom in our area. Its name comes from the fact that it usually blooms around the Vernal Equinox (March 22).