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Easter is the gateway to spring

Hyacinth are one of the many spring flowers available during this season. John Zvirovski / The Sun

Easter always seems to be the official gateway to the spring season. But what is going on this year? It seems to be on quite a delay, but maybe that would explain why Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year. But rest assured, spring will eventually come and when it does, things will move along quickly.

I’ve already seen tulips and daffodils poking through the soil as soon as the snow recedes. Soon additional spring plants will emerge and before we know it, there will be color in the gardens once again.

Until the outdoor color arrives, Easters brings with it a variety of plant items that are for sale in various store and nursery outlets. Of all the blooming plants, I would have to say the beautiful white Easter lily is the most popular. They come with a strong scent and most people either really like them or just the opposite. I happen to like the strong scent as one lily can fill the entire room. Often these lilies will have anywhere from four to 10 blooms depending how big the bulb is or how many plants might be planted in a container. In the last decade, outlets have catered to those who don’t like their scent by selling colored lilies, usually of the Asiatic variety. For the true symbol of Easter, the white lily is the one for me.

Of course there are other blooming plants also, such as the spring bulbs. I found myself so enamored with these lovely plants that I had to invest the $5 for a pot of three hyacinth. They are available in white, yellow, pink and purple shades and emit a heavenly scent that will also fill a room with its sweet fragrance. Within days of bringing it home it was already starting to bloom and fill the air.

Tulips are also a very common selection during this time. They usually come in six plants per container in shades of red, white, yellow, purple and pink. Within days of bringing these home, you will soon see those spring blooms also.

When selecting either of these items, I always look for the ones that will last the longest. These are the plants that have full buds, but are not yet opened. If you place these plants in a cool location with bright light, they will bloom and last up to over a week for a spring treat.

Sometimes you will see a mixed pot of daffodils, tulips, hyacinth and crocus, which come at a higher price but are well worth the display. All of these items can be planted in the gardens at the end of May to bring spring blooms for many seasons to come.

Easter lilies can also be planted in the garden, but be aware that often these lilies will change color in time and regress back to the original plants in which they were bred from. The white lily is a hybrid and will regress back. There was one year where I had a yellow lily in the garden that I never remembered planting and it turned out to be one of these Easter lilies that was planted years prior. Sometimes you will get a pink one too, so just be prepared for the change and the surprise!

Easter is early this year, but this time last year all of the snow was gone and the plants were well on their way in the garden. Each year is a bit different from the other. Maybe the groundhog was actually onto something this year with six weeks of additional winter. I would hate to say that he may have some validity this year!

Whatever this spring season brings, it will be new and exciting once again and the anticipation of its arrival never seems to waiver. I am more than ready and I know it will be here before we know it. In the meantime, pick up one of these beautiful spring plants to bring some beauty into our homes. To me it is a nice way to extend the season, or better yet, start it early.

Have a very happy and safe Easter weekend!