Eager for early signs of spring?

Are you one of those people who run out and buy a huge bouquet of tulips in January? I confess I am. I may forget the milk or butter, but those blooms come home with me.

Despite the joy that Christmas brings to November and December, I’m usually done with the rain, the clouds and the snow by mid-January. I get antsy, constantly searching for any hint of spring. I fill my vases with bright coloured daisies, tulips and irises. I check the garden for the first daffodil stems to pop up from beneath the soil. I get excited the first day that I …

• shed my heavy winter coat for a lighter jacket during the day,
• eat dinner at dusk and not at night,
• discover the crocuses and snowbells are in bloom,
• breathe in the fresh sweet aroma of spring air,
• sit outside on a patio to enjoy a cup of tea,
• hear the robins sing their cheerful tune for me.

I live in the part of Canada where these first signs of spring generally emerge from hibernation at the end of January, beginning of February. We’re relishing in the mildness of this winter, a reprieve from the frosty and snowy one we had last year. There are still lots of rainy days, but these are disbursed with magical sunny spring-like ones when it feels like everyone is outside. You’ll find folks out walking, biking, golfing and gardening. You can even hear the hum of the odd lawn mower in the distance and the echoes from kids playing at the park.

My hubby and I were out last weekend and chuckled as we watched people stop to photograph blooms with their iphones. We weren’t any better. I had my point-and-shoot camera along for the very same reason. Here are some of the snaps I took.

Early cherry blossoms and crocuses 2

Early Pink rhododendron bushes and pink azaleaBy early March, we usually have over two billion blooms flourishing the landscapes around the city. How do we know this? We count them! The annual Flower Count is a fun event sponsored and organized by Butchart Gardens and Tourism Victoria. Over the course of a week, the municipalities run around counting the blossoms in their communities. Everyone is encouraged to get out there and make their community the “Bloomingest Community” of the Greater Victoria area. Ahem …. we even have the nerve to broadcast the results to the rest of country.

Each little sign of spring is a pearl of hope for good things to come. This is the hope that gets me through the remaining cold and dreary days of winter. And for now, I have to get out there and plant my primulas – just doing my bit for the local bloom count. 😉

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