In Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the spring season was March 20. The last day is June 19. Many people like to order “spring bouquets” not only when spring seems to be around the corner but even during the depths of winter.
Trying to define a spring bouquet is not an easy task for a florist. Many will carry tulips, iris and maybe daffodils. They might have forsythia branches and pussy willow. They may even have hyacinth or crocuses which are usually in pots. Sometimes hyacinth arrives as a cut flower and will be used in bouquets. Sometimes they can even get lupines. Rarely will you find lilacs or lily of the valley carried seasonally by florists.
It’s not that florists cannot get some of these flowers or branches, it is just that some of these spring flowers have a short life span in store bought bouquets. Canadian gardeners grow a huge number of flowers in their gardens that are not always found as commercial products.
Many people think of their gardens or hark back to their youth when visualizing spring bouquets. I certainly do. I especially think of the wonderfully scented bouquets of lilacs cut from the bushes in the backyard and the dainty posies of lily of the valley that hardly filled a small glass. But I also remember the lilacs did not last long when they came into the house and the lily of the valley posies were tiny.
I love to have both in my house in the spring. Since I do not have a lilac bush I rely on lilac donations or those borrowed from public places. (I convince myself that I am doing a good deed since lilacs like to have their blooms cut –it promotes more blooms the next year—and the city should be thanking me!) I planted lily of the valley in my yard but it is in a very shady area. It will be years before I will ever be able to cut a bouquet to bring inside. In the meantime I treasure the occasional waft of their scent in the air.
So what is a spring bouquet? For the most part it is an arrangement of bright colourful flowers that will bring cheer to the person receiving the arrangement, no matter what time of year. It may or may not include tulips, daffodils or iris.