As winter’s gray skies and dreary landscapes slowly begin to brighten with renewed color and life, Victoria readers share with us the signs they look for that indicate springtime is finally on its way.
Nothing announces spring to my heart with more vigor than the quintessentially British flowers gently pushing their way upward from their winter’s slumber, deep underground. Snowdrops, first and fiercely brave, cut through the snow like pure, bright diamonds. Golden dancing daffodils quickly follow the elegant crocuses with their tiny jeweled cups of purple, yellow, and white. Fragrant purple violets (my grandmother’s favorite flower) hide demurely beneath mounds of glossy dark-green leaves. Across the meadow, cowslip flourishes and perfumes the air as headily as bluebells in the wood. My heart bursts with the exhilarating sensory display.
I will sit in the evening and recall the delights in my illustrated diary—each flower recorded, each fragrance remembered—to read again in the midst of winter deep, a gentle reminder of what is just around the corner.
Although I adore the beauty of white winters, my soul longs for spring. After the holidays, I get through the long, dark days by anticipating the return of the hummingbirds. I grow flowers they love, which attract a great number of them. These winged creatures provide a true sign for me that warmer weather is not far away. The birds start to arrive around March, and by then I am weary of the cold and drab. To welcome them, we usually have a small gathering in the soon-to-bloom garden, with cakes, sandwiches, iced tea, and pure love for a dearly missed friend.
The blooming of the lilies of the valley has always signified spring to me. I can recall being a very young girl and playing outdoors with my Ginny doll at my grandmother’s home. I would sit in the middle of her garden for hours. I have never been sure if it was the flowers’ captivating scent that entranced me or the fact that their diminutive size made them the perfect accessories and household goods for my doll.
Today, in my garden, I have a patch of lilies of the valley grown from a transplant handed down from my grandmother to my mother and my sister and then passed along to me.
Springtime in the mountains of Virginia is truly glorious! I have grown up and lived mostly in the South Texas area, but I’ve fallen in love with the cherry blossoms of the Shenandoah Valley. The trees start to bud around my birthday, in early April, displaying flowers in my all-time-favorite color, pink. The blooms are so feminine and beautiful and grace many neighborhood homes in this area. Each year, I feel as though I have been given my own gorgeous bouquet from God.
To see more of our reader’s responses, see the March/April 2015 issue of Victoria magazine.