The first day of spring is one of my favorite moments of the whole year. Some years it is pouring rain and some years we are lucky enough to see the sun peeking out but every year, guaranteed, it is a time full of birdsong, promise, and hope. The frogs start going bananas in my neighborhood in early February and once the daffodils push through the soil, I know we’ve made it over the hump that is winter in the Pacific Northwest. The robins have arrived in great numbers and my daughter is worried that they will eat “all” of our worms – I’m not sure either one of us has any concept of the colonies of worms that must exist below the surface of the garden.
Everything about these glorious cherry blossoms is so encouraging. Bainbridge Island is sprinkled with these lovelies and I always have to stop to admire their perfection.
While there is so much to do in the garden at this time of year (especially if one has neglected the fall cleanup, as I invariably have done) it is still quite chilly and the weather can change in an instant. I will leap at any opportunity to get outside in the sunshine and always forget how quickly a spectacularly sunny day will turn frigid and wet, leaving me drenched and shivering in my wellies. These are the days when I happily retreat into our cozy farmhouse for a little spring freshen-up.
Notice I did NOT say spring cleaning. I am a reluctant house cleaner at best – much more of a tidier and plumper. I am, however, very excellent at redecorating. No, not the fancy kind of redecorating that skilled visionaries do. I'm talking about the simple stuff that anyone can do: changing pillow covers, buying fresh flowers to brighten the rooms, and generally moving things around to make the house feel refreshed. Come spring, I can’t wait to swap out my wardrobe, trading the dark, somber colors of fall and winter for the lighter and cooler colors of spring and summer. I tend to do the same with my house and I try to plan the mini-redecoration event as close as possible to the actual first day of the season. There is a celebratory element to the timing, which helps me embrace the present and live in the moment.
I don’t have seasonal rugs, curtains, and slipcovers as the Victorians did so I focus my energy on changing the pillow covers, moving books around, buying flowers, and bringing in seasonal candy (which rarely lasts more than a few days with my kids). These small, inexpensive changes are a constant reminder on those chilly, gray, and rainy days that nicer weather is just around the corner.
Yum, love these little gems. Go ahead, pop them onto your shopping list. I'll wait...
I adore these bird pillows with their bright, cheery colors and whimsical design. My husband wasn’t so sure about the gingham ruffle but I made these myself so he very sweetly gave in. I like to use a few different pillow shapes, sizes and colors to keep the eye entertained and make it look a bit more Sister Parish.
One of the easiest seasonal changes I make is to swap out the books on my coffee table. I have a bit of a problem with beautiful picture books – honestly, an intervention might be in order. While these can cost an absolute arm and a leg brand new, you can always find used books in truly excellent condition on Amazon for a fraction of the cost. Anything Carolyn Rhome has ever published is in my library. The woman is pure inspiration. And what could be more fun on a cold, rainy day than to get lost in this garden?
Our farmhouse was built in 1927. While a tad on the smaller side, it was beautifully designed to really connect you to the outside. The light in this room is perfect and it is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon. The views into the garden are lovely.
Don’t forget the flowers! We are so lucky to have access to an incredible selection of tulips in an array of colors come spring. Town & Country (our divine locally owned grocery store) stocks different varieties of tulips (including Parrot tulips – the ones with the fringy edges) at a very affordable price. I love how they continue to grow after you put them in the vase. There's nothing quite like surrounding yourself with spring.