The shiny, clean, new green of these vinca, or periwinkle, leaves and the soft purple of the flowers appear among last year's dead leaves and stems. Soon the new growth will cover the old.
While doing a little research on this plant, which is an attractive and useful vining ground cover, I came across this etymological tidbit on a page from a University of Vermont class on garden flowers:
...names from the Latin vincio meaning to bind, and later Middle English per wynke meaning same, referring to use in making wreaths which in Middle Ages were placed on heads of criminals on their way to execution; in Italy it was known as Fiore de morte being placed on bodies of dead infants; later and still occasionally today it is known as "Joy of the Ground."So there you have it.
I noticed my first bees of the season today - about eight small ones, hovering and zipping about, not by these periwinkles or the nearby daffodils, but over earth and grass.