Comforting Flowers


By: Suzanne Reisler Litwin

It’s just around the corner, Ssssprrriiiinnnggg!   SPRING!

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I actually felt the angle of the sun shift at the end of January. On that day I looked up at the sky and I noticed that the sun was higher and brighter. This was the first day of spring for me. I also noticed my backyard neighbours flying by. The gorgeous red cardinal and his peach girlfriend had returned.

By mid-February the winter it is surely over. The day light hours are longer and when the sun hits my roof, the snow melts. 

Although day time temperatures may not agree with these statements, I still feel it in my bones. Spring is just looming for a break through. It’s just a day or two away.

With the onset of spring my favourite season will come to an end. I know this sounds insane, but I loScreen Shot 2017-01-23 at 10.46.55 PMve winter. I love the sports and activities it provides. I also like to breath in cool fresh air. 

Due to the fact that I suffer from seasonal allergies, winter provides me with a reprieve from hay fever ailments. I basically don’t itch, sneeze or rub my eyes during the winter months, except for some occasional dry skin. 

Once my post winter blues pass, probably around mid-April, I look forward to the season of rebirth and creation. My garden will come to life and with it the many different blossoms, fruits, and vegetables.  As I mentioned in my previous article titled, Buried Treasures – November 28th, 2016, I planted dozens of spring bulbs in November.  Once the spring thaw passes, a symphony of color will ablaze my front lawn. 

My garden is programmed to blossom on a two week schedule.  What does this mean?  It means that I will get a different blossom every two weeks until the end of June. Once the first blossom comes out in May, every two weeks another plant or bush will flower until the end of June.  At the end of June, the annuals will take over until the frost comes.

Not only is this beautiful to see, it also provides a certain amount of comfort.  A hope, anticipation and a gift.  The violet magnolia tree will start the cycle.  Once this tree finishes its blossoms, the Lilac bushes will take over, and then the fruit tree blossoms, etc., etc…  This colourful journey will continue until the end of June.

My Mother once told me, “I’m never alone when I’m with fresh flowers.”  For this reason we give each other fresh flowers often.  There is something so warming about entering a home and seeing bright yellow daisies looking at you.  I find, if you look really closely at pansies, they seem to have little cute faces?  I try to plant these annuals in my garden yearly.  Just for their sweet smiles.

Sometimes I hear people complain that fresh cut flowers are a waste of money because they don’t last very long.  I agree, they don’t last long and they are very costly.  However, they do provide a sense of comfort and warmth.

I don’t wish the winter away like some people do at this point of the year.  Although, I must admit I do look forward to the splendour of colour that awaits me from my planted bulbs.  Actually, the anticipation feels fabulous.Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 10.47.26 PM

If you are feeling impatient about spring not coming fast enough, bring it into your home now.  There are many potted spring bulbs that are in blossom and available for purchase.  Tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils are currently available in planted pots.  I’m sure many of them are in full blossom.  Bring these little joys into your home and you will feel the rebirth of spring immediately.  Once the flower blossoms have finished, the bulbs can be kept for replanting outdoors in the fall again.  These bulbs can also be forced indoors as well.  So, you will definitely get your money worth out of this product. 

If you find fresh cut flowers are too costly, small flowering bushes are a great idea.  The bushes are usually in blossom when you buy them. Once the blossoms have finished, the bush will live on.  With good care, in a month or two, the blossoms will return. 

Here is another interesting idea.  If you have access to a tree which will blossom, such as a fruit tree, cut off a few branches now.  Bring the branches into your home and place them into a vase with cold water.  As the water warms, it will mimic the spring.  The branch will flower and leaf in your home.  It is quite a beautiful experience.

Do it today! Bring the beauty of spring into your home. Don’t wait for the cold months to pass.  It will definitely pick up your spirits, comfort you, and color up your world!

Suzanne Reisler Litwin

Suzanne Reisler Litwin an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column “Keeping it Real”.  Please visit her website
  to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.