Saturday, February 27, 2021

Flowers in the house

February windowsill

February may be the shortest month, but in a winter hemisphere it can seem like the longest. The antidote also belongs to February, at least in this city. Spring flowers appear at corner markets, at delis, and at bodegas. And so while it is freezing out, we can bring spring indoors.

Scented flowers in vase

Outside a local supermarket (how local is local, in neighorhood terms - does a one-way, one-mile walk, count?), Key Food on 7th Avenue, the flower sellers have unusually interesting selections, and so I pounced on these tuberoses, for their scent.

Tulips in a vase

But I love tulips, and they last a long time (if one buys them in very tight bud, with as little color showing as possible): typically 10 days. I change their water a couple of times, and if their leaf tips begin to darken, as they do, I strip the leaves, cut the stems and return them to a smaller vase for another few days. 

New York's snow is beginning to melt, with rain washing it away and temperatures rising. Soon, it will be time to assess the terrace. The windowboxes may need some surgery (they are lined with landscape fabric, burlap, and moss - and it's the burlap that has fared the worst), and some terra cotta might have cracked. 

It is no longer dark at four o'clock. And in March the "spring forward" time change (the 14th) and vernal equinox (the 20th) await. One day we will be able to sip our evening drinks on the terrace, again. Until then, the windowsill is where you will find our flowers.


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  1. If you can walk to the place easily, and it seems do-able both physically and psychologically, I think of that as local. I wonder if New York City residents have a different psychology from California suburbanites...? My little city doesn't really have a downtown, but I live close to a "city center" where the library and my favorite market are less than a mile away, and I do walk there. Your daffodils-on-the-windowsill scene is classic and elegant.

    1. The neighborhod culture in NYC can be very specific and sometimes doesn't adhere strictly to the official neighborhood designations. I think your own neighborhood (here) can often mean the radius of blocks that encompass a daily routine: groceries, deli, etc. And then the slightly larger circle beyond that that you visit regularly but not as often, and then a larger circle, and so on. Until some invisible border is crossed and you're in a different neighborhood! But yes, it's not suburban at all, and most New Yorkers walk a lot.

  2. We're getting the first hints of spring in Seattle. Crocus are in full bloom, daffs and tulips are coming up and the flowering cherry are just showing a hint of color. Soon we will be racing with spring to get everything (not possible) done. I'm looking forward to seeing your spring garden take shape.

    1. That sounds so promising! We have snowdrops. No sign of the other's yet.

  3. Are you suggesting that February is NOT the longest (coldest, darkest, dreariest, rainiest, snowiest, most discouraging) month of the year? Are you crazy! On this 147th day of February, 40 degrees and pouring rain, I yell "nay!" March cannot come soon enough! Actually, hellebores are in full glorious bloom, the camellia is still hanging in there and bulbs pushing up everywhere, so there is hope. Perhaps next week all will improve.

    1. Um, no...:-) I was saying it does seem like the longest.
      Although I almost like this sense of anticipation the most. How lovely that you have hellebores!

  4. What yellow flowers are in the middle vase in the first picture?
    Love the light in your pictures.
    Thank you for sharing these - it makes me happy to see.
    For local, I go with in the same town I live in,


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