April 22, 2014 9:54:25 AM
Monday was the day for recovery for folks in the flower business.
At nurseries around the Golden Triangle, nursery owners and workers spent most of the day putting things back in order after what some believe may have been a record-setting weekend for sales. "This place looks like a lingerie store after a big sale," Susan Smith complained in mock frustration to one of her employees at Smith Landscaping. "Stuff is scattered all over."
Indeed, the slow-arriving spring has made folks impatient for impatiens, pumped up for pansies, hysterical for hydrangeas, voracious for violets.
"I think people have just been sick of the cold weather," Smith surmised. "It didn't seem like spring would ever get here. This weekend may have been a record for us. We were packed."
Our major complaint about spring is that, in addition to its lack of punctuality, it is with us far too briefly, a guest that never overstays its welcome. Before we know it, the gentle sun of spring turns mean and unrelenting in summer.
So we enjoy spring's presence while it lasts and one of the best expressions of that appreciation finds us digging in the moist earth, planting. If gardening is art, it is art in its purest form. A bed of flowers, unlike a painting, can never appreciate in value. It is bound by time.
Sociologists have not studied this, as far as we know, but we are certain that the spring ritual of gardening is evidence of an abiding hopefulness that defies the miseries that accompany the inevitable struggles of life. Pessimists don't plant and they certainly don't plant flowers.
You could make an argument that planting vegetables at least has some practical purpose. There is an economic component involved in growing your own tomatoes and beans and corn.
But flowers? It is a purely sentimental endeavor and proof that somehow, no matter how jaded and cynical we are in danger of becoming, we are still inclined to seek for beauty for beauty's sake. It is therapy of a sort, we believe, for it reminds us of better selves. "The earth laughs in flowers," is the way Ralph Waldo Emerson put it. And that laughter is infectious.
So we encourage everyone to plant some flowers now that spring is finally with us. It is salve of the soul and an escape, however, brief from the troubles of life. It's hard to depressed in daffodils or bitter among the begonias.
Yes, spring is the most optimistic of the seasons.
Who doesn't need some of that?
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