Today, friends and I enjoyed the unofficial first day of spring along with a late Christmas. We originally intended to celebrate a trio of events that included a birthday party, but sadly, the birthday girl called in sick leaving the rest of us with only two events to commemorate.
First, spring. There are signs of a coming season change outdoors: tulip leaves pushing up, hellebore opening, and camellias blooming. But today’s indoor displays at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show gave us a fully developed spring with primroses putting on airs; tulips, daffodils and mini-irises flowering; and rhododendrons budding. Some of the visitors tried to compete with the plants in the category of “showiest.”
Even if you walked through the entrance at the Seattle Convention Center with your eyes closed, you would know it was spring by the scent of hyacinths greeting you at the door.
Now, Christmas. Since December is always the most hectic month of the year and like everyone else’s friends, mine are always busy, we couldn’t get around to gift giving until today. But what better time to relax in a deli and open presents than this unofficial beginning of spring.
I’ve gone to the flower and garden show twice since I retired. I went fifteen years earlier with the expectation that it would help me become a better gardener, but left feeling disappointed. Now I understand that the point of the show is not to give us all beautiful gardens, but to give us hope that true spring will arrive. It also provides the joy that comes from walking through such a garden, especially when rain and wintry days still lie ahead, and even snow might return before we ever see the same sights out-of-doors.
I too have been observing the signs that Spring is coming – the daffodils that are up far enough to have tight buds, those early blooming pink trees that I don’t know the name of, and other bushes that are pushing out their new leaves. I always look forward to Spring but this year it seems even better than usual, and my pleasure greater.