Leaping Into Spring: a Mélange of Seasonal Experiences

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Change of the seasons bring a wealth of beauty to our lives, and they don’t even warrant

Rita Mosca from the Southbury Garden Club demonstrates how to build a flower arrangement.

capitalization of the first letter of their names. When you see the printed word spring, do you think it is one of those things inside your mattress? Might it be a small body of trickling water? Oh well! Welcome sweet springtime; I greet you with words. Since 2020 is a leap year using the word leap in the headline seemed appropriate.

My motivation for this piece came from spending several hours with a group of children of various ages. Most of them are in the springtime of their life. They attended a workshop at the Southbury Public Library where they would create a flower arrangement. It was an interesting opportunity for youngsters of the digital age to become involved with a project where there were no computers, gadgets, items that moved or beeped, etc. They listened intently to the instructions and pertinent facts offering the opportunity to Live and Learn given by Rita Mosca. The participants gently handled and chose carnations of various colors, baby’s breath and ferns and placed them carefully in their arrangements. They were ably assisted by members of the Southbury Garden Club. The whole scene made me smile.

Garden Club members Irma Lesson (left) and Dee Holmes enjoyed working with the participants.

The flowers at this event made me realize that spring was coming closer. Today is Feb. 27, and as I write the wind is howling outside. Mischievous Mother Nature has been kind to us this winter, but in many areas of New England blizzard conditions exist. I checked the 10-day forecast and a change might be coming next weekend. Hopefully we’ll dodge the bullet and Mother Nature will not zap us.

I certainly learned a lot when I met Elizabeth Berlenbach, president of the Southbury Garden Club who came to see the children at work. The Garden Club and the Friends of the Library purchased the supplies for the event. She thanked me and my photographer for covering the event, and felt that the children did a fabulous job. She also told me all about more wonderful ways that the Garden Club makes a difference in the town of Southbury. “We are very committed to our community,” said Berlenbach.

“We have a plant sale every year in town. It will be held on Saturday, May 16. The Garden Club supplies baskets of goodies prepared by members to the residents of Safe Haven twice a year in the spring and at the holidays in December,” she said.

I learned that the club maintained seven gardens in town. There’s an herb garden at Bent of the River, which is used for educational purposes. There are two vegetable gardens. One is located at Heritage Village and one is located at Settlers Park. All produce from these gardens are donated to the Southbury Food Bank. An educational Pollinator Garden is located in Settler’s Park, and makes people aware of the plight of our pollinators. The club maintains gardens at the entrances of Ewald Park and Ballantine Park. The Southbury Garden Club also cares for two historical gardens. One is located at the Bullet Hill School on Main Street N. and the other is at the Old Town Hall on Route 72. I can’t wait until summer when we can visit all these special places.

The Garden Club hosts a speaker on the first Friday most months in the Kingsley Room of the Southbury Public Library. Topics vary, but all have to do with some aspect of horticulture. The presentation is free and open to the public. The group offers a $1,000 scholarship to a local student who is continuing his/her education in the field of horticulture. Local businesses receive awards at the end of the summer for business landscapes that make Southbury beautiful. The club provides wreathes for all municipal buildings at Christmas time. Many Heritage Villagers are Garden Club members, and we thank them and members from our town for adding so much to Southbury, a very special place.

The Heritage Village River Garden seems ready to go. Due to the mild weather, many gardeners have already spent a great deal of time setting up their plots for planting.

I reached out to talented friends and neighbors and hoped that they would share their thoughts about spring. Thanks a lot Vic, Sandy and Nan.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party,’” stated Robin Williams. It seems that Villager Vic Walton has a similar point of view. “In New England we actually experience spring. It’s time for taking the covers off things like grills, deck and patio furniture, boats and swimming pools. Winter parkas and spring rain gear are exchanged. It is time when you throw meat, chicken, and shrimp on the grill, and welcome family and friends for a party. It is time to spray stuff like patio furniture, bugs, shoes, and your sun-sensitive body for no particular reason. Hiking trails are opened so people can get out there in nature and then spend time in a hot tub soothing sore unprepared muscles. It is time for welcoming returning birds, bears, bugs, and other warm weather creatures. As winter literally melts away everything turns green again as your winter views and vistas disappear. Daylight savings time allows for more party time. Be careful not to trip as you “spring forward,” said Walton.

A stream of consciousness was created by Sandy Marcus. “Ah spring! Buds, sunlight, brightness, chirping birds, an azure blue sky, bright green grass, daffodils, crocus in bloom, joyful sounds heard when I pass a place where children are playing outside, an uplift feeling as the world comes alive — Ah spring!

Nancy Tobin composed a delightful poem:

“Spring Fever in the Village”

Open your windows,

Slide all your sliders,

Keep out the hornets,

Ants, flies and spiders.

 

Wash all the curtains,

Clean out your drawers,

Polish the silver,

The brass and the floors.

 

Don’t set alarm clocks,

(Dreams are worth keeping!)

Spring also favors,

Laziness, sleeping.

These seedlings photographed at Hollandia Nursery will be beautiful pansies in a blink of an eye!

My photographer and I spent time looking for photos of the season to share with readers as we all take a leap into spring. We paid a visit to Hollandia Gift and Garden in Bethel where Lionel took pictures. Here is some information about Hollandia’s annual Spring Show. It takes place from Saturday, March 28, to Sunday, April 5. There are eye-catching flower displays, classes and more. The Garden Center is located in Bethel at 102 Old Hawleyville Road, 203-743-0267, and the Gift and Garden Shop is located at 95 Stony Hill Rd. in Newtown, 203-792-0268.

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy opens its Spring Greenhouse Show featuring a spectacular array of spring bulbs and plants. The show will take place in the historic greenhouse in Elizabeth Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March 6 to March 13. Included in the Floral Display are French hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, amaryllis, scented geraniums, pansies, trellised sweet peas, culinary herbs, hanging baskets and Spanish oregano. Wow! Don’t miss this. This happening is free of charge!