When Is It Really Spring?

Hyacinth--photo copyright Anne Underwood EnslowNarcissus--photo copyright Anne Underwood Enslow“I planted pansies, so it’s spring now!” declared my sister-in-law on her Facebook page. That was on March 9, during one of the brief lulls between this winter’s brutal cold snaps. The polar vortex was gone, but unfortunately, winter was not. “Make sure you cover them Thursday when it snows,” a friend shot back.

I can’t blame my sister-in-law for trying to will spring into existence. In my lifetime, I can’t recall a year when I was happier to greet the spring—that is, spring that actually feels like spring, not the snowy calendar date that meteorologists told us marked the change of seasons this year.

But now that warm weather is finally coaxing me outdoors, the budding of tulip trees, forsythia, and daffodils fills me with hope. My seeds are planted; new bareroots roses are on the way; tomato cages stand at the ready.

Over the weekend, I made my first trip to the garden store, which felt like a joyful reunion of old friends. My husband and I came home with an armload of hyacinths, narcissus, and pansies—in purple, green, and gold, the colors of Mardi Gras. And a celebration it is, indeed. “Can you just leave the hyacinths in the car?” my husband asked, intoxicated by their heady scent. We are so ready for this day. Welcome, Spring!
Pansies--photo copyright Anne Underwood Enslow

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