“I loved rhubarb, that hardy, underappreciated garden survivor that leafed out just as the worst of winter melted away.” —Judith Fertig
When I saw the abundant, expansive green leaves and hot pink stalks, so thick and strong, singing to let their delicious tartness be appreciated, I knew my potential home was a home where such vegetation was a priority.
Planted as part of the landscape and thriving in the sunshine, the robust rhubarb plant on the property of my now home grabbed my attention and sealed the deal: This would be my home if I had anything to do with it.
Seeing the rhubarb emerge from the earth before the calendar officially states spring has arrived is a relief to behold. A deep breath is often released each time I have the good fortune to have it in my yard, and such was the case when I saw the aforementioned plant return to begin to share its bounty for a new year two weeks ago.
Spring IS just around the corner (next Thursday! the 19th), and in preparation for its arrival, a post to celebrate.
In 2012 I wrote a similar post, sharing 12 ways to prep for the season of blossoms and daffodil blooms, but it has been eight years, so I wanted to add on to my list as life has made me appreciate even more fully what the arrival of spring can be.
1.Gardeners: Gather the supplies for planting your seedlings.
There are more than a few French herbs that are unavailable in Bend, so I have ordered my seed packet and am now planning on planting them during my Spring Break so they will be ready to plant outside after the first frost (which for Bend is in early June). This will be the first time I have attempted it, but I am following Floret’s advice (she shares tips in her first book), but begin by reading this post.
A quick shopping list for the necessary supplies for starting your seeds (each seed packet will let you know how early to begin planting based on the last frost in your area):
2. Plan a spring Wine Tasting Tour
While I do not live near oodles of wineries any longer (Willamette Valley is about a 3.5 hour drive and Walla Walla is about five hours away), I used to enjoy visiting the local Walla Walla vineyards in the spring, being out in the country, then back into the tasting room and adding a few bottles to my pantry. Perhaps this year I will return to Walla Walla as a way to spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful early May spring weather, but if you are close to a location with local wines, why not plan now for a wonderful weekend outing with lovely wine and conclude the evening a favorite restaurant to cap the day in delicious style?
3. Plan your garden and yard additions
No matter how small or large your yard and/or garden are, or even if you just have herbs potted in your house, plan now for what you want to have at-the-ready for your cooking explorations and favorite meals during the summer and fall. If you are continuing to add beauty to your yard, assess and determine now what plants would work well, as the spring nursery season offers limited supplies of favorite perennials as well as annuals. Each spring I plan a trip to my favorite nursery with a long list in hand. This year I may have to make two trips, one earlier and one later to acquire what I want, but every year is unique based on what you need. Have fun dreaming and planning for a delicious and beautiful summer and fall season to come.
~Check out TSLL’s Garden posts in the Archives for plant, herb and gardening ideas.
4. Pick up a new cookbook to spark inspiration in the kitchen
Melissa Clark’s new cookbook, a French recipe cookbook no less, was just released yesterday, and I am so excited to begin cooking from it!
5. Plan one home decor project and invest well
Admittedly, I have been busy with all sorts of projects for my new home dancing around in my head, and while my kitchen is supposed to be transformed this late spring/early summer, I am tending to my foyer during spring break as it is something I can do entirely by myself. From adding wallpaper and a few simple, yet intentional wall decor details, sprucing up our homes to better reflect the signature style we love is a wonderful way to say hello to a new year with spring’s arrival.
6. Swap out the fall/winter table linens for spring and summer
Tablecloths, table runners and placemats as well as napkins are a simple, yet significant way to welcome a new season. I will be changing out the tablecloth I currently have on my dining room table for something sunnier, brighter and lighter in hue. Enjoy shopping for a color or design and texture that speaks to your predilection and as a practice continue to add to your collection so you have a handful to choose from with each changing of the seasons. (below my yellow tablecloth adorning my table last May)
7. Have your spring outerwear dry cleaned
Perhaps you have already taken your spring coats and jackets to the dry-cleaner (I try to do this when fall begins), but if you haven’t, do so now so they are ready to wrap you in fresh, clean style. On the flipside, as spring does arrive, why not take your winter coats to the dry cleaners so they are ready for fall without a worry to wonderful when you will have time when the chillier season arrives.
8. Tend to your health
No doubt you have heard and been informed about how to be preventative regarding the coronavirus, so tending to our health is at the forefront of our minds. Even if such severe news wasn’t above-the-fold each day, giving yourself time to rest, rejuvenate and take a breath is a smart way to improve the quality of your days. Getting outside is an elixir for the mind and body, so now that the weather is changing for the warmer, find more time to do just that.
9. Prune and trim your yard for the start of the blooming and growing season
Last weekend I stepped outside to chop down my Karl Foersters so that the new grass could grow tall and strong. As well, a few other shrubs received a haircut, and now my yard looks to be ready for the spring growth to begin.
10. Begin anew in the “new” year
Technically, spring is the start of the new year, so if you were not feeling ready to set resolutions or goals in January, perhaps the coming of warmer weather and new green foliage will spark the motivation to make the changes and create the habits that will improve the quality of your life and help your reach your goals.
Take a moment to assess what is working well and what could be reduced or eliminated. From eating habits, to the schedule you abide by – is it serving well your priorities? How can you change, edit or elevate it so that it does work well and even better for you and those you love?
With a week to go before spring officially begins, perhaps playing Antonio Vivaldi’s “Spring” (lyrics below) will help pacify you until it arrives. Listen here or view below. And may you have a beautiful start to the new season!
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches
rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps,
his faithful dog beside him.
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes,
nymphs and shepherds lightly dance
beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.