Spring is such a special season. It is the season of hope and rebirth. Everything is possible in the Spring. It is not a surprise that it is our favorite season; favored by 31% of women and 24% of men. (Winter, by contrast, is the favorite of only 8% of Americans.)
But when I think of Spring, I mostly think of flowers. Spring flowers signal the best qualities of Springtime; rebirth and reawakening of our senses.
Which is your favorite spring flower?
Is it the flowering trees? Red-bud trees offer a thicket of deep-pink flowers that form a network up to the sky. Or do you love the first flowering trees, the tulip trees and Bartlett pear trees whose white petals fall like scented snowflakes? How about the artistic and graceful dogwoods? Could it be the mid-season cherry and crabapple trees that offer a burst of pinks, whites, and reds?
Or are Spring bushes your favorite? Bright yellow forsythias signal the end of winter. Lilac bushes make their presence known by a distinctive fragrance that wafts through the cool Spring air. Other bushes, like azaleas, offer a shock of color, while rhododendrons and camellias delicately display their pinks, lavenders, and blues.
And who can forget the Spring bulbs? Early crocuses, daffodils and grape hyacinths signal the beginning of Spring. Fragrant hyacinths sweeten the air. Tulips are the multicolored little soldiers of Spring.
My favorite spring flowers are pansies. Pansies come in a plethora of colors: reds, oranges, purples, blues, yellows, whites, black, and dark maroons. They come with or without faces; their faces being crafted by their fifth petal and dark coloration close to the center.
In our area, pansies can survive most winters, which makes them the last flowers that I see in the fall and one of the first that arrive in the Spring. In a mild winter they can even survive in pots. This year, they successfully overwintered in my planters, their smiling faces greeting visitors and residents alike.
In the fall, as soon as the mums have finished blooming, I plant hundreds of pansies. I put them in planters, gardens with late perennials, at the edges of the lawn, and around bushes.
This was a good winter for pansies, and they re-emerged from everywhere. Their dancing faces welcomed me home from my winter migration.
So which Spring flower brings the biggest smile to your face?
Or is too hard a question?
Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.