Bloom time begins
Days are getting warmer as the scenery paints itself in a softer palette of eye-catching shades. Pinks, golds and lavenders are filling in the spaces where juniper, piñons and leafless trees once stood. Everything outside seems to command our attention, asking us to stop what we are doing for a moment and take in the beauty thatwe havewaited so long to see. Garden lovers rejoice in this time of year, and for those that don’t have a garden, there are plenty of blooming places around town to gaze upon and steal a picture or two. With Earth Day also being celebrated this month, there is way that we can contribute even more to the natural beauty by planting a tree, or even starting a community garden.
While it’s still early in the season, bulb flowers continue to have their heyday this month, as well as the fruit trees with their ethereal flowering branches that make everything seemmore magical. If we are lucky, lilacs will make their entrance, too. Coming in a large selection of varieties and colors, these woody shrubs have not only adapted to the region’s dry, alkaline soil, but have prolifically propagated themselves, not unlike weeds, only in the most beautiful of ways.
It seems as April’s floral selection grows, it’s difficult not to bump into a gar- den somewhere around town. From the colorful patches planted by local nurseries and volunteers on theAdopt-a-median strips (part of the Keep Santa Fe Beautiful program), to the courtyards of art galleries, hotels and restaurants, the flower spying can seem endless.
Gerald Peter’s Gallery on Paseo de Peralta has an impressive array of seasonal flowers starting in April and lasting until fall. The sidewalks will be brimming with texture and color soon. The front window boxes and garden barrels at the Michael Smith Gallery on Canyon Road are equally impressive, blooming in every shade imaginable. He has more to see around back; just ask him. Michael is a serious gardener who loves to share his passion for plants.
Most locals are aware of the stunning windowboxes at the Inn of theGovernors on Alameda, but tourists are finding them just as appealing as they capture everlasting images that are being posted on Instagram and Pinterest.
And then there is the Santa Fe Railyard, which is starting to green up quite nicely, thanks to the Railyard Stewards and many volunteerswho keep the gardens in pristine condition. Going north and past the plaza, Sena Plaza on Palace Avenue houses some beautiful upscale retail stores, including the famous Casa Sena restaurant, but it’s the courtyard that draws visitors in with its well-established, showy perennials that are starting to growfast. With an abundant canopy of lighted trees covering part of the garden, the experience is quite magical, especially at dusk. The Santa Fe Botanical Gardens are also gearing up for what should be a very green season, and is wellworth the visit in early spring. Don’t forget that memberships are available that offer much to the frustrated Southwest gardener. Soon, one of the most visited places in Santa Fe, the central Plaza, will have its rainbow-colored planters filled, something to look forward to in May and June.
The list of living beauty in Santa Fe goes on. Butwhat’s important this month is to appreciate the growth we can experience now before the arid summer arrives. And don’t forget: on April 22, be sure to show your support for Mother Earth by adding a little more to her view.
Carole has been in the floriculture industry, from international wholesale and retail sales to event planning, for over 20 years. She has floral studios in Santa Fe and Baltimore, was a Santa Fe Master Gardener, and supports local/national flower farms and beautification projects. She is available for demonstrations and lectures. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. flowerspy.com.
Flowering cherry tree