Spring Fever

This year has been a doozy! I can’t remember the last time March was that beautiful.Weather-wise, we’ve run the gamut from putting our air conditioners to use in early March to digging out hats and mittens this past week. The lawn mower has already been employed more than once, and now here I am, wondering if the snowbrush is still in the back seat of the car. The kids are just plain lost, not sure whether they should forage in their dressers for shorts or dig out cardigans and flannel. Ah, well. It’s par for the course this time of year in Minnesota. Although I adore the cozy feeling of winter, when early spring rolls around, I’m usually ready for the cold and snow to be done, and look forward to the green of nature as things spring back to life.

To celebrate the impending arrival of warm days, bird chatter, and burgeoning blossoms, we made a family visit to the yearly Macy’s Flower Show in downtown Minneapolis. There, one can take in the sights and smells of beautifully designed flower garden displays and kick start the bug to want to plant and grow lovely things. Each year boasts a new theme (Brasil, Spring is in the Air, Towers of Flowers, etc.), and the kids and I never fail to be mesmerized. Perhaps it’s that first sensory experience of the year of seeing delicate blooms and smelling the fragrant blossoms, but it’s simply magical. Small carpets of lush flowers in every hue stretch out below wondrous displays. Flowers, plants and small trees are carefully placed to create such wonders as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a colorfully enchanting toucan, a floral Eiffel Tower, and many other blossoming architectural creations that spark the imagination and spur on the drive to plant the very moment the weather cooperates.

Whether you make regular trips to an arboretum or greenhouse during the cold months, or simply make do with enjoying your very own house plants, there’s nothing that quite compares to seeing the season’s first tulips popping through the thawing ground. Flowers seem to have their very own little place in our world. They play a vital role in creating an air of celebration at weddings and festivities, they cheer us up when we’re sick, and they remind the special people in our lives that we love them. Perhaps for those of us living in snowy climates, we become especially excited when spring’s first flowers push through the soil toward the sun. Our limited season of flower gardens and window box displays is rather short, so we embrace it fully when it finally arrives.

As May slips closer, I can’t wait for planting season to start. Dark pink petunias, fuchsia and purple vincas, little white bacopas, orange and pink lantanas, verbena in a host of hues, the adorable painted faces of the pansies… oh, late May can’t come fast enough.

As we endure the rainy, windy, and oh-so-unpredictable weather that comes with April, I wish you a verdant spring, heralding a riot of colorful blossoms, and invite you to enjoy some snapshots from the past few Macy’s Flower Shows.

What do you do in early spring to remedy the itch for warmer weather?

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